The heads of Embraer and Bombardier - for years bitter rivals over the financing of aircraft deals - have used Paris to try to call a halt to their firms' dispute.

Paul Tellier, president and chief executive of Bombardier, and his opposite number at Embraer, Mauricio Botelho, have had two meetings here at the show.

After two meetings, a more cordial atmosphere exists between the competitors, said Botelho yesterday.

The initiative came from Tellier, who visited the Embraer chalet for talks and toured the Embraer 170 aircraft on the static park. Yesterday, Botelho was a guest at the Bombardier chalet.

"We have both moved from very hard positions and there is a movement to establish the fact that while we are competitors, we are not enemies," said Botelho yesterday.

"These were courtesy visits which I welcome.

"The World Trade Organisation (WTO), having said both companies were guilty of wrong financing, in a sense created a level playing field for us."


Is the bitter rivalry between the firms over? "Let's hope so," said Botelho.

Tellier said he made the move because he believes in constructive rather than adversarial relationships. "It is my intent to respect Botelho as a competitor."

He added that the recent US regional aircraft deal - split between the two firms - was universally regarded as having been free of subsidised financing.

"There was nothing funny about the financing and so I decided it was time to visit Botelho. I had not met him before but he has a good reputation."

The move could help pave the way to a bilateral deal between Canada and Brazil, both of which were given the right to impose sanctions against each other by the WTO, which deemed both firms to have been guilty of subsidised financing.

However, both countries declined to do so and are now exploring ways to settle the issue once and for all.

Pierre Beaudoin, Bombardier president and chief operating officer, quipped after the landmark meeting: "Mr Botelho lives far away from us. I would like to sell him a Global Express!"

Source: Flight Daily News