Delta Air Lines chief executive Ed Bastian is confident that the carrier will take delivery of the 75 Bombardier CS100s it has on order without paying a proposed 300% tariff on the aircraft.
"We will take the planes, there may be a delay… but we do not expect to pay any tariffs and we do expect to take the planes," he says during a third quarter earnings call today.
Asked by journalists for Delta's plans if the aircraft is delayed, Bastian says it has "various other plans and alternatives" that it is evaluating but declines to comment further.
The US Commerce Department has recommended tariffs totalling 300% on the CSeries following a Boeing complaint in January. The airframer claims that Bombardier is able to dump the aircraft in the US market under its cost of production as a result of subsidies it received from the Canadian and Quebec governments.
The Chicago-based airframer claims the CSeries threatens its own 737-700 and 737 Max 7 lines.
Bastian maintains Delta's view that Boeing has not made a comparable aircraft to the CSeries since the 717-200, which the airframer discontinued in 2006.
"It's very hard for Boeing or any US manufacturer to claim harm from a product they don't produce," he says, adding that Boeing's proposal to Delta in the campaign that went to the CSeries were used Embraer 190s and not one of its own models.
Delta plans to configure its CS100s with 110 seats, the same number as on its 717-200s. Its 737-700s have 124 seats.
Bastian expects discussion of the proposed CSeries tariffs to continue, saying it is still "early" in the process.
The Commerce Department has said that it plans to make a final decision by 19 December.
Delta is scheduled to take delivery of its first CS100 in 2018, with 16 due that year, Flight Fleets Analyzer shows.