Bombardier is confident that Republic Airways Holdings will remain a customer of its Pratt & Whitney PW1524G geared turbofan-powered CSeries, despite a decision by the Frontier Airlines parent to put a place holder deposit with Airbus for the re-engined A320neo.

"We talk to Republic regularly. They might choose to buy a bigger A320 geared turbofan product, not unlike what Lufthansa recently did. So there is a place in an airline for a CSeries below 150 seats and an A320 above 150 seats. So if Republic were to do that - I don't know that they will - that would not surprise me," Bombardier Commercial Aircraft president Gary Scott told ATI and flightglobal last week on the sidelines of a pre-Paris air show briefing in Geneva.

Scott added that Republic "tell me constantly that they're very happy with their selection of the CSeries. They believe in it. They believe in the technology...I think they'll stick with us."

In February 2010 Republic ordered 40 CSeries CS300s, bringing to 90 the total number of CSeries firm orders secured by the Canadian airframer. Fresh orders are forthcoming, assured Scott, and will likely include a launch operator. The CSeries is expected to enter into service in late 2013.

"As I mentioned before many times, we had like a handful of customers [with whom] we're in advanced discussions. We probably have two handfuls now. So I have little doubt that in the very near future we will be announcing additional orders and most likely we'll have the first operator in one of those announcements."

Source: Air Transport Intelligence news