Up to 10 CRJ900 NextGen aircraft destined for Iraq

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Iraq’s Government has placed a firm order for six Bombardier CRJ900 NextGen airliners and options on a further four of the type.

The CRJ900 NextGen aircraft “will be used for civilian airline services in Iraq”, says Bombardier in its statement. The Canadian airframer does not say explicitly if the aircraft are destined for state-owned Iraqi Airways.

The order is not unexpected. Last month Bombardier confirmed talks with Iraq concerning the acquisition of regional aircraft. Reports also surfaced that a contract to acquire 40 passenger aircraft from Boeing was close to being finalized.

Within weeks, however, lawyers acting for Kuwait Airways were warning that any aircraft that Iraqi Airways acquires face being impounded to settle the drawn-out $1 billion compensation case brought by the Kuwaiti flag-carrier following the Iraqi invasion of 1990.

UK law firm Howard Kennedy partner Christopher Gooding, representing Kuwait Airways, said: “Kuwait Airways holds judgements against Iraqi Airways in excess of $1 billion. All appeal procedures have been exhausted and these judgements are final and binding.”

Based on list prices, the value of the firm contract with Bombardier is approximately $239 million.

“We are pleased that the Government of Iraq has selected the CRJ900 NextGen aircraft to help rebuild the domestic and regional airline services in Iraq,” says Bombardier Regional Aircraft president Steven Ridolfi.

“We are confident that the CRJ900 NextGen airliner will serve commercial airline operations in the country very well.”