Iraqi Airways considers exchanging CRJ900s for CSeries

Baghdad
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Iraqi Airways is negotiating the exchange of some of its six Bombardier CRJ900s for newer CSeries models, the airline's director general Saad Al-Khafaji tells Flightglobal.

The Iraqi flag carrier has six CRJ900s in its fleet, after an original order for 10 units was disrupted by court-sanctioned asset seizures by Kuwait Airways in 2008.

The neighbouring countries had been at loggerheads over a Saddam Hussein-era dispute that was finally laid to rest in late 2012, paving the way for Iraqi Airways' fleet renewal to resume.

"The four [outstanding CRJ900s] are under discussion with our government," Al-Khafaji said when asked if the Bombardier order will now be completed.

"My opinion is I want to change them to CSeries," he continues. "The CSeries is a reasonable aircraft for the region. This is under discussion. We have an agreement, but it is not settled."

Al-Khafaji says the deal entails Bombardier "giving me the first four CSeries, and [in return] I give them the CRJ900 I received...so I'll exchange it". But he reiterates that the proposal is "only talk" at this stage.

Bombardier has secured firm orders for 180 CSeries to date, including two commitments from undisclosed buyers for three and 10 units respectively.