American regional jet decision due shortly: Bombardier

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American Airlines is expected to make a decision on whether to order additional 76-seat regional jets from Bombardier or Embraer "shortly", says Bombardier chief executive Pierre Beaudoin.

The Fort Worth-based carrier has been evaluating both the Bombardier CRJ900 and Embraer 175 under a programme dubbed "project Panama" with its adviser SkyWorks Capital since early this year.

A source familiar with the discussions told Flightglobal in July that the order would be in the ballpark of 60 aircraft.

Beaudoin was speaking during the Canadian airframer's earnings call today.

American chairman and chief executive Tom Horton declined to comment on the discussions when asked by Flightglobal in July, but he also did not deny that they were taking place.

The airline will add 47 E-175s to its regional fleet by the first quarter of 2015 under a 12-year capacity agreement with Indianapolis-based Republic Airlines.

One possible delay may be caused by waiting until after American's planned merger with US Airways, which is awaiting US Department of Justice (DOJ) antitrust approval. The carriers anticipate closing the deal by the end of September.

US Airways chairman and chief executive Doug Parker will be chief executive of the combined carrier while Horton will be chairman.