Max Kingsley-Jones/LONDON

Comair has placed the biggest single order ever for the Bombardier Canadair Regional Jet (CRJ), with a 10-year agreement for up to 150 aircraft, including its first deal for the stretched 70-seat version. The 50 firm orders are worth more than $1 billion.

The deal from the Cincinnati-based Delta Connection carrier includes firm orders for 30 of the 50-seat CRJ Series 100s and 20 of the 70-seat Series 700s, along with options for 100 more - 30 Series 100s and 70 Series 700s. Deliveries of newly ordered Series 100s will begin in September 1999. Comair will receive its first Series 700s in the fourth quarter of 2001.

Rival regional jet manufacturer Fairchild Dornier has been in discussions with Comair about an order for up to 40 of its 42/44-seater 428JETs and says that Comair still has a requirement for a smaller jet to replace Embraer EMB-120 Brasilias. Talks have now widened to include the 328JET. Comair is already the largest CRJ operator with 67 in service and already had a further 28 Series 100s on order and option. Its CRJ orderbook now stands at 245 - 130 firm orders and 115 options.

Source: Flight International