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Bombardier’s CSeries under evaluation by Republic

Republic Airways Holdings is evaluating the Bombardier CSeries as it examines re-fleeting options for its subsidiary Frontier Airlines.

Frontier became a Republic subsidiary in October of this year after it emerged from Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.

Today during the Next Generation Equity Research airline conference Republic CFO Hal Cooper explained that 48 out of 51 Airbus aircraft currently in Frontier's fleet are either owned or have leases that expire from 2013 to 2017.

Republic is "spending a lot of time with the aircraft manufacturers" to understand Frontier's re-fleeting needs, Cooper explains.

Both Airbus and Boeing have committed to lower operating costs on their respective products, says Cooper, who highlights the Boeing 737 has the longest range of any narrowbody aircraft available. He says that could open up new route opportunities for the branded side of Republic's operations, which also includes Midwest Airlines.

Cooper also stresses Republic's evaluation of the Bombardier CSeries, describing the product as "a very interesting airplane to us".

Bombardier CSeries Bombardier 

 

 Bombardier

 

He says that unlike with Airbus and Boeing, Republic believes its could receive and interesting financing package from Export Development Canada (EDC).

Republic CEO Bryan Bedford says there is an agreement in place for Frontier to purchase four Airbus narrowbodies in 2011 followed by another four aircraft in 2012. But he notes Republic has the right to walk away from that deal.

Cooper says Republic expects to make a fleet decision during the first quarter of next year.

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