Graham Warwick

Embraer has won a customer for its 50-seat regional jet in rival Bombardier's home town.

Montreal-based InterCanadian, the largest independent regional airline in Canada, has ordered six firm and six option ERJ-145s in a deal worth $230 million.

It is the Brazilian manufacturer's first regional jet sale into Canada.

"This indicates our competitiveness anywhere in the world," said Embraer president Mauricio Botelho, announcing the deal yesterday at the show.

"InterCanadian is very near our competition, which is good for us because that means there must have been very strong competition," he says.

Controversially, the deal will include the Brazilian Government's Proex export financing support, which is opposed by Bombardier and the Canadian Government.

Earlier this year, the World Trade Organisation ruled that Proex is an illegal subsidy and should be removed . Brazil has appealed and a final decision is expected later this year.

Asked about the controversial nature of this deal at this highly sensitive time, Botelho responded: "We Brazilians love the Canadians. We think of them as 'happy Americans'."

InterCanadian operates ATR 42 turboprops and Fokker F28 jets on behalf of Canadian Airlines and its alliance partners American Airlines and British Airways.

Source: Flight Daily News