Canadian Export Development Corp. Boosts CRJ Market

 - January 14, 2008, 6:38 AM

The Canadian government’s export financing arm, the Export Development Corporation (EDC), has advanced another $100 million loan to Delta Connection subsidiary Comair for its current deliveries of twenty 70-seat Bombardier CRJ700s, the first of which the manufacturer delivered last September. The loan comes as one of Canada’s largest industrial concerns struggles to meet financial targets for perhaps its most crucial quarter in history, and as Canadian and Brazilian envoys negotiate a settlement to a five-year-old trade dispute arising from such government support.

This time, the new loan to Comair has drawn domestic criticism as well, as Canadian economic analysts question the wisdom of providing low-cost loans to borrowers struggling to secure financing from private lenders. EDC officials countered that loans to Bombardier customers perform at a rate of 97.5 percent, and that U.S. regional airlines constitute the strongest sector in the airline business.