Air Canada's decision to purchase Bombardier's struggling CSeries was not politically motivated and followed several years of study by the Montreal-based airline, says chief executive Calin Rovinescu.
"Absolutely not," he says when asked if politics played a role in Air Canada's signing of a letter of intent to purchase up to 75 CS300s powered by Pratt & Whitney PW1500G turbofans.
Though not a firm commitment, the letter specifies that Air Canada intends to order for 45 of the aircraft and has the option to order another 30.
Deliveries are tentatively scheduled for between late 2019 and 2022, Air Canada said when it announced the deal in February.
"We think that is a very good airplane. We studied it for a very long period of time," Rovinescu said during JP Morgan's aviation, transportation and industrials conference on 8 March.
Air Canada has estimated the CS300s will cost 10% less per available seat mile than the Embraer 190s they will replace.
The carrier timed the CS300s acquisitions to coincide with maintenance events that must be performed on E190s around 2020, says Rovinescu.