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.
Expectations of a late-2013 surge in new airliner deals were handsomely surpassed at last month’s Dubai Airshow (November 17-21), with aircraft orders (including the engines that will power them) exceeding a record-breaking $200 billion mark, as of press time. But business aviation also put on a strong showing, accounting for roughly a third of the 150 or so aircraft occupying a packed static display at the biennial event’s new Dubai World Central (DWC) site. The impressive purpose-built show venue closely replicates the appearance of the long-standing site at Dubai International Airport.
A flurry of commercial announcements in the regional- and small-narrowbody aircraft sectors came across the wires last week, led by a firm order on Thursday for 10 Bombardier CSeries CS300s from Latvian carrier airBaltic. The deal, potentially worth $1.57 billion at list prices, included so-called purchase rights on 10 more of the airplanes and represented a conversion of a letter of intent signed at this year’s Farnborough International airshow.
Last week, the Iraqi Civil Aviation Authority (ICAA) dissolved an exclusive flight permit contract enjoyed by Palm Jet, following protests from the Middle East Business Aviation Association (MEBAA) that the agreement made operating business flights into Iraq prohibitively expensive.
Bombardier delivered a pair of CRJ900s into Iraqi Airways service in July following an Iraqi payment of security equal to the value of the aircraft to Kuwait Airways. The Canadian manufacturer has now delivered six of the 10 CRJ900s originally ordered by Iraq and, according to a Bombardier spokesman, continues to work toward delivering the remaining four.
Bombardier delivered a pair of CRJ900s into Iraqi Airways service in July, following an Iraqi payment of security equal to the value of the aircraft to Kuwait Airways. The Canadian manufacturer has now delivered six of the 10 CRJ900s originally ordered by Iraq and, according to a Bombardier spokesman, continues to work toward delivering the remaining four.
The Court of Appeals of Quebec on January 11 summarily dismissed appeals by the state of Iraq and Iraqi Airways in the 20-year-old legal case brought by Kuwait Airways seeking damages for Iraq’s seizure of 10 airplanes and associated spares and records during its 1990 occupation of Kuwait. The case continues to prevent Bombardier from delivering the final six of an order for 10 CRJ900s placed by the government of Iraq in 2008.
The prospect of involuntarily bankruptcy is all too real for many airlines around the world. But the government of Iraq is poised to voluntarily take Iraqi Airways out of business as a way to avoid a 20-year-old legal dispute with Kuwait Airways.
The fortunes of Bombardier Aerospace’s regional jet business received a considerable boost last month when American Airlines announced the signing of a letter of intent covering the conversion of an option for 22 CRJ700s.
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