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Tue, Nov 28, 2006

Bombardier Gets Three Plane CRJ700 Order From Brit Air

Air France Subsidiary Will Use Planes To Replace Leased CRJ100s

It's not a very big order, but they'll take it. Bombardier's aerospace division has received orders for three additional CRJ700 regional jets from Brit Air, an Air France subsidiary, worth $97 million at list prices.

Brit Air already owns 12 of the CRJ700 model aircraft, and says the new jets will replace three smaller CRJ100 models that are coming off their lease.

"The Bombardier CRJ700 has won high praise from its operators because of the aircraft's low operating costs -- the lowest of any 70-seat regional jet -- reliability, performance and efficiency," regional aircraft president Steven Ridolfi said in a release to Aero-News.

After a dismal showing in 2004, Bombardier rebounded in 2005 to post a $249 million profit for the year. Most of the gains in the aerospace segment came from orders for the company's business jets, though, and smaller Q300 turboprops. Orders for regional jets such as the CRJ700 and smaller CRJ200 were down 26 percent over 2004.

The company has made progress this year, however -- with 36 orders for its largest CRJ900 regional jet from Compass Airlines, the planned Northwest Airlines regional subsidiary. The carrier also ordered 36 similarly-sized Embraer 175s.

Both Bombardier and Embraer have seen market focus shift to the larger end of the RJ segment, with sales of planes with 76 seats or more far eclipsing smaller, 50-seat variants.

FMI: www.bombardier.com, www.britair.com

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