British Airways owner 'lined up to buy' C Series jets from Bombardier
A new order for Bombardier C Series 300 jets by British Airways owners IAG is expected to be announced soon, according to reports
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By Chris McCullough February 14 2017
The deal is said to include a number of the jets for British Airways and low-cost airline Vueling, as well as up to 10 for Aer Lingus.
Both Aer Lingus and British Airways fly from Belfast City Airport.
The Canadian aerospace giant, which employs 4,500 people in Northern Ireland, makes the wings of the C Series passenger jet in its Belfast plant.
Aviation industry sources were discussing the new order at the weekend on social media.
However, a spokesman for IAG said it could not comment on the order claim.
And a spokeswoman for Bombardier in Northern Ireland said: "We don't comment on speculation, nor on any potential discussions we may or may not be having with specific customers.
"Bombardier will, however, announce any material agreements with a customer if and when they are finalised."
Back in June last year IAG boss Willie Walsh told the Belfast Telegraph that the Bombardier CS300 jet was "definitely one we are prepared to look at".
On the back of other orders for the C Series 300, including deals with Delta Airlines and Lufthansa subsidiary Swiss, Mr Walsh said people were starting to look more closely at the jet.
Mr Walsh added: "The fact they have had the significant orders (is encouraging), the Delta order on the back of the Lufthansa one.
"I think everyone looking at the aircraft wanted to see a commitment from major operators to it. You don't want to be the only person operating the aircraft.
"A critical issue for airlines with an aircraft like that, is you want to make sure you have technical support in all of the airports, or as many of the airports (as possible)."
Speaking about the growing success of Bombardier's C Series, Mr Walsh said: "I think it's a big achievement for them, as Delta and Air Canada are two very significant (airlines).
"It puts that aircraft into play now, and I suspect that you will see a lot more airlines (looking at it).
"The critical issue with them, as it always was, is how competitive can you be on price."
"They had to get a scale of order to make them relevant for the industry."
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