Porter to consider “all sources” of funding for CS100s, says CEO

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Toronto-based Porter Airlines is not worried about securing financing to support its purchase of up to 30 Bombardier CS100 aircraft, said the airline's president and chief executive Robert Deluce.

The deal for 12 orders and 18 CS100 options could reach $2.08 billion if Porter chooses to take all of the aircraft, and could increase to $2.29 billion if it exercises six purchase rights for Q400s.

"We've not had difficulty financing aircraft to date," said Deluce at an event in Toronto on 10 April. "We don't anticipate that there will be difficulty in terms of financing the CS100s."

Porter has not started the process of looking for financing yet. Financing is typically not secured until 18 months ahead of aircraft deliveries, said Philippe Poutissou, vice-president marketing for Bombardier Commercial Aircraft. Porter plans to receive the first CSeries aircraft in 2016.

Porter, a private firm, has been profitable for the past two years, Deluce said.

Earlier this month, the province of Quebec disclosed that it would provide up to $1 billion in financing for CSeries aircraft purchased from Bombardier, which will be in addition to financing from Export Development Canada (EDC), Canada's export credit agency. Porter will consider this option.

"The Quebec funding is something that just emerged more recently, so obviously we are going to look at that," said Deluce. "We have funded some of our Q400 aircraft through [Export Development Canada], we also have gone to separate banks in some instances. So we are going to look at all sources of funding and obviously come back with a solution."

But before Porter can commit to financing, it must secure key approvals from city and government authorities allowing the CSeries jets to fly in and out of its hub at Toronto City Billy Bishop airport. It has also requested an extension of 168m on each side of the airport's main runway. Deluce said he is confident that it will be able to do so.

"[Financing is] not our first consideration, our first consideration is getting the required approvals that we need to operate this very quiet aircraft from this airport, and make the very modest sort of runway extension that is required," said Deluce.

Deluce also confirmed that Porter does not have renewed plans for an initial public offering (IPO). It had considered a C$120 million ($118.5 million at the time) offering on the Toronto Stock Exchange in 2010 but shelved the plans days later due to volatility in equity markets.

"Sometime in the future that's always a possibility, but not even something that we're contemplating at this moment in time," said Deluce.

Porter operates a fleet of 26 Bombardier Q400 aircraft.