Bombardier targets new jet opportunities with AMR and CRJ200 placement in Russia

Washington DC
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Bombardier believes the bankruptcy of American Airlines and American Eagle parent AMR could open the door to sales of new regional jets to the financially-strapped carrier.

Meanwhile, Bombardier also identified Russia as a prime market to place used CRJ200 regional jets as they become unaffordable for many Western airlines to operate.

As part of AMR's bankruptcy filing on 29 November, corporate officials unveiled a strategy to rebalance the structure and operating costs of its aircraft fleet.

For Bombardier, this restructuring is considered a positive move, said Pierre Beaudoin, Bombardier president and CEO during a 1 December earnings call.

"I think [the bankruptcy] can represent overall opportunities," he said.

American Eagle currently operates CRJ700s, according to the ACAS database. These have been "very successful for the airline", Beaudoin said, and he sees little risk of these aircraft being retired.

At the same time, American Eagle operates smaller jets that are not as efficient, he said. Beaudoin didn't identify the aircraft, but it is clear what he means. In addition to the CRJ700s, American Eagle operates 21 Embraer ERJ-135s, 59 ERJ-140s and 118 ER-145s, according to the ACAS database.

Bombardier has no financial exposure in the AMR bankruptcy, Beaudoin added.

"We have no backlog [with AMR] at all so there is no risk of cancellations," he said.

The company, meanwhile, has accumulated 22 used CRJ200s that it hopes to sell to other airlines. A prime target for used aircraft sales is now Russia, Beaudoin said.

"We think this represents a continued great opportunity for the CRJ200," he said.