Ottawa may be willing to help Bombardier sell new aircraft to Air Canada after officials from both companies said Bombardier was at a disadvantage over three other bidders because it is not eligible for government financing. Air Canada plans to buy up 100 regional jets worth about C$1.4 billion ($1 billion) from either Airbus, Boeing, Bombardier or Embraer. But Bombardier cannot line up financing for Air Canada because Ottawa's Export Development Canada fund is for financing foreign sales.

An EDC official says Air Canada could find a third party to buy the regional jets with EDC financing and lease the aircraft from the buyer. But many commercial financial sources, such as banks, are becoming more reluctant to back aerospace deals because of the risk involved.

A Bombardier source says the aircraft manufacturer might seek financing from GE Capital Aviation Services.

An official from Industry Canada, another government agency, says Ottawa wants to support Canada's aviation industry and that it would consider any proposal which is put forward.

Air Canada and its Star Alliance partners are planning to purchase up to 200 regional jets and Bombardier hopes to land either all or part of the order.

Source: Flight International