Toronto-based Porter Airlines has signed a conditional purchase order for 12 Bombardier CSeries 100 aircraft and options for an additional 18, as well as purchase rights for six Bombardier Q400s.

The airline, which operates out of Toronto City Billy Bishop airport, will require authorities' approval and a runway extension to operate the jets at the downtown airport.

Deliveries of the CS100s will begin in 2016, says Porter, which confirms that it is the unidentified Americas-based customer that signed a letter of intent for the order announced by Bombardier on 19 December 2012.

The deal will be worth $2.29 billion at list prices if all options and purchase rights are exercised.

Porter's CS100s will be laid out in a 107-seat configuration and will be operated from Billy Bishop airport to new destinations such as Vancouver, Edmonton, Calgary, Winnipeg, Los Angeles and cities in Florida and the Caribbean, says the airline.

Porter will request approvals from relevant authorities to extend the runway at Billy Bishop airport and to allow for the operation of jet aircraft. The airline says a 168m extension into water at each end of the airport's main runway would be required.

Toronto city, the Canadian government and the Toronto Port Authority were signatories to a tripartite agreement that has governed the airport since 1983.

"Thirty years ago, when the tripartite agreement came into effect, jets were noisy and not particularly environmentally friendly," says Porter chief executive Robert Deluce. "We chose the Bombardier CSeries aircraft because they are the world's quietest commercial jets in production. The CS100 jetliner is ideal for operation at downtown urban airports, is comparably quiet to our existing Q400 aircraft fleet, uses less fuel per seat than many modern compact cars, and creates up to 50% lower emissions than similar aircraft."

Source: Air Transport Intelligence news