Iraqi national carrier Iraqi Airways has signed a firm order for five Bombardier CSeries CS300s and reserved options on another 11, Bombardier announced last month. The firm order came only two weeks after the parties announced a letter of intent at the Dubai Airshow. Bombardier places the value of the order at some $387 million based on list prices. If Iraqi Airways exercises all its options, the value would rise to $1.26 billion.
Appearing in Dubai, Iraqi Airways CEO and director general Saad Al-Khafaji explained the airline would use the airplanes to serve secondary airports such as Basra and Najaf. “In Baghdad we use big aircraft, but in the other airports we’ll use aircraft that for us are normal size–150 seats or less,” he said.
The contract calls for Bombardier to configure the Iraqi CS300’s cabins with 12 first-class seats and 140 seats in economy, said Saad, and for deliveries to start in 2016.
Iraqi Airways now operates six Bombardier CRJ900s, perhaps most notably on a route between Baghdad and Karachi, which Saad described as “a great success.”
“Following the successful utilization of our six NextGen CRJ900s over the past few years, the acquisition of the CS300s will complement our network operations and allow us to expand into new markets,” said Saad. “The CS300’s range, fuel efficiency and comfortable cabin will permit us to respond to growing passenger demand and reach destinations across the Middle East, Northern Africa and Europe.”