Air Canada evaluating narrowbody fleet options

Washington DC
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Air Canada is evaluating options to replace its narrowbody fleet by the end of the decade, say executives during an earnings call today.

The Montreal-based carrier is looking for replacements of its 120-seat Airbus A319s, 73-seat Embraer 175s and 93-seat E190s, they say. It is also evaluating the future of its 50-seat regional jet fleet at its partner Jazz.

A decision on the narrowbody fleet is not expected until 2013 or later, say executives.

Air Canada has 38 A319s, 15 E175s and 45 E190s in its mainline fleet, and 36 Bombardier CRJ100s and CRJ200s operated by Jazz as Air Canada Express, according to a financial release.

Possible replacements for the A319s include the Airbus A319neo, Boeing 737-7 Max and Bombardier CS300 as well as a proposed stretched next generation Embraer E-Jet.

The E190s could also be replaced by the proposed next generation E-Jets or the CS100, while the future of the E-175 flying is unclear as the airline evaluates its regional contract carrier agreements.

Air Canada's new pilot contract requires that the E190 flying remain part of its mainline operation, say executives.

Jazz has already begun retiring some of its older CRJ100s and replacing them with Bombardier Q400 turboprops.