Bombardier has announced that it has signed a agreement with EgyptAir for 12 CS300 aircraft worth around £8.5 billion.
A Letter of Intent (LOI) between the firms announced at the Dubai Airshow also includes a purchase rights for a further 12 jets which, based on the list price could bring the total deal to £1.7bn.
The latest deal comes weeks after an as yet unnamed European operator signed an LoI for to buy at least 31 C Series planes the winfs for which are produced in Belfast.
The news is another encouraging development for the Canadian planemaker which is still emnbroiled in a dispute in the US over the contested sale of 75 C Series to US carrier Delta.
That deal has angered Boeing which claims its rival sold the planes under price.
Currently, the US govt has attached a 300% tariff to each plane although a final judgement is due in February.
Since then the European conglomerate Airbus has also taken a majority stake in the C Series programme and hopes to get around the US tariff by building planes for the American market at its plant in Mobile, Alabama.
“It is our pleasure to have this new partnership with Bombardier, which came as a continuation of our fleet modernisation strategy,” said EgyptAir Holding Company chairman and CEO Safwat Musallam.
“We selected the C Series aircraft because its excellent range will allow us to best serve domestic and regional destinations, including neighboring Arab cities, the Middle East as well as several European destinations.
“We look forward to expanding our network with the CS300 and we are happy to see that the partnership announced with Airbus will bring added support to the C Series program.”
EgyptAir is the country’s national carrier and was established in 1932 as the first airline in the Middle East and Africa.
It currently flies to more than 70 destinations in around 60 countries.
“We’re thrilled that EgyptAir selected the CS300 aircraft to renew its fleet,” said Fred Cromer, president of Bombardier Commercial Aircraft.
“Bombardier’s 20-year market outlook foresees demand for 450 airplanes in the 60- to 150-seat category for the region and this LOI confirms the need for right-sized aircraft in the Middle East.
“We are confident that our small single-aisle C Series is ideally-suited to serve the hot temperature environments of the region and will undoubtedly provide performance and economics that will drive higher profitability.”
East Belfast MP Gavin Robinson said the news showed “the growing enthusiasm that surrounds the C Series jet”.
“With 12 C Series jets ordered and the potential for a further 12, this will create a boost to the economy and the Belfast plant,” he said.
“It shows that companies are giving Bombardier a vote of confidence and are willing to do business, given the ingenuity the workforce here and the quality of aircraft produced.”