Bombardier remains confident on CRJ sales prospects

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Bombardier has again defended the state of its regional jet backlog given the lack of new orders for CRJ-series aircraft.

Its third quarter results, for the period to 31 October, show the backlog for the CRJ700, 900 and 1000 has shrunk to a total of 52 aircraft, from 61 at the end of the previous quarter.

In an analyst call on 1 December, the airframer admitted the market for the regional jets remains "challenging" and has had a "negative impact" on order intake.

It insists new orders will materialise and is in "advanced negotiations" with a number of potential customers. Its most recent deal was for one CRJ900 to Egyptian operator Petroleum Air Services, which was disclosed at the Dubai air show in early November.

Pierre Beaudoin, president and chief executive officer of Bombardier, said the CRJ1000 is a stronger product which offers lower fuel burn than the rival Embraer 190. He points to the past success it had with sales of its CRJ700 and CRJ900s against the E-170 and E-175, delivering a claimed 592 aircraft to Embraer's 318.

"With better economics you tend to win more often. So I think the CRJ1000 will do extremely well," he said.

In addition, it is targeting Russia for sales of a number of second-hand CRJ100s and CRJ200s from the US market, given the grounding of older Russian types.