Billions for Bombardier

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Bombardier Aerospace announced yesterday that Northwest Airlines has placed an order for 36 Bombardier CRJ900 aircraft and has taken options on an additional 96.

The transaction is conditional upon Northwest Airlines receiving approval from the United States Bankruptcy Court, Southern District of New York.

The value of the orders based on the CRJ900's list price is approximately $1.35bn. The value could rise to $5.18bn if all options are exercised.

The aircraft will be offered in a dual class configuration with 12 first class and 64 economy class seats. Concurrent with the purchase of these CRJ900 aircraft, Northwest has agreed to continue to operate all 141 CRJ200/CRJ440 aircraft as part of the Northwest Airlink operation.

Northwest is the tenth customer for the CRJ900 aircraft since the aircraft was introduced into service in 2003. The CRJ900 aircraft is said to have established itself as having the lowest operating costs of any jet in the 90-seat class.

As of July 31, 2006, firm orders for the Bombardier CRJ900 airliner stood at 102 aircraft with 59 delivered. Orders for the CRJ family of regional jets number 1,449.

Northwest Airlines has also placed a firm order for 36 Embraer 175s, with options for additional 36 aircraft and up to 100 rolling purchase rights.

The new E-Jets will be operated by Northwest’s regional subsidiary Compass Airlines, and will fly under the Northwest Airlink brand name. Deliveries are scheduled to begin in the second quarter of 2007. The values of the orders were not disclosed.