Mark Collins – Bombardier CSeries: If Can’t Sell to United?/Québec Inc. at Work

Further to this post,

CSeries: Bombardier Wants $1B from Feds…
[more at end of this post]


if the company does not get a vote of confidence from this major American airline in a direct face-off with Brazil’s Embraer then…

Bombardier vies for deal to supply United Airlines with C Series jets


Bombardier Inc. is locked in a near-term battle with Embraer SA for a contract to supply United Airlines Inc. with new jets, a key sales campaign that could fuel momentum for the struggling Canadian plane maker if it can clinch a deal.

Senior Bombardier officials are expected to travel to Chicago for meetings Thursday to present the company’s flagship C Series plane to United management and employees. Brazil-based Embraer, which has an installed base of E175 jets flying for United’s feeder system, is also vying for the contract. Boeing and Airbus could be in the picture too, although their smallest planes aren’t thought to be what United is looking for with this purchase.

“It would be a significant win with a Tier-1 global customer for Bombardier and an incredible vote of confidence in the [C Series] program,” said analyst Chris Murray of AltaCorp Capital in Toronto. It’s unclear exactly how many aircraft United is eyeing with the purchase, but two credible sources peg it at 30 planes with options on 30 more…

Bombardier has tallied 243 firm orders for the C Series, a two-model family of jets that seats between 100 and 160 people, but hasn’t booked an order since September, 2014. The company has just completed certification flight testing for the smaller CS100, and it is showing one of the planes painted in colours of its launch customer, Swiss International Air Lines, to prospective customers…

Bombardier’s CS100 is competing against Embraer’s E195 [webpage here] for the contract, analysts said. Officials with United and Embraer did not respond to requests for comment.

Meanwhile the Québec Inc. angle :

Caisse to buy stake in Bombardier rail business for $1.5-billion

Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec is acquiring a 30-per-cent stake in Bombardier Inc.’s rail business for $1.5-billion (U.S.) in a move aimed at bolstering the manufacturer’s financial stability.

Bombardier said on Thursday [Nov. 19] it has struck a deal with the Caisse for a $1.5-billion convertible share investment in a newly created holding company, Bombardier Transportation (Investment) UK Ltd.

The new company, with its own board headed by Bombardier chief Alain Bellemare, will hold all of the assets of Berlin-based Bombardier Transportation, the company’s rail division…

The deal values Bombardier Transportation at $5-billion, the company said.

It comes just weeks after the Quebec government promised to invest $1-billion for a 49.5-per-cent stake in Bombardier’s struggling C Series new-jet program that has been grappling with cost overruns, delays and slow sales…

The province is certainly doing all it can to save the company; now it’s over to the feds:

Liberals examining whether aid to Bombardier is too risky

The Canadian government is examining a request for assistance from struggling aircraft maker Bombardier Inc, Liberal Innovation Minister Navdeep Bains said on Wednesday, adding that one consideration was whether such aid would be too risky.

Bains, who took office with the new Liberal government two weeks ago, told reporters at an aerospace conference that he had spoken with Bombardier Chief Executive Alain Bellemare and would make sure that any assistance was “good value for taxpayers.”..

Sure.  Mesdames et messieurs, faites vos jeux.  By the way the Globe and Mail’s business reporters are doing a bang-up job covering this story.

Mark Collins, a prolific Ottawa blogger, is a Fellow at the Canadian Global Affairs Institute; he tweets @Mark3Ds

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