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Bombardier gets order for five regional jets

Bombardier Aerospace employees assemble a Q400 airliner at the Bombardier aircraft manufacturing facility in Toronto Friday, March 25, 2011.

Darren Calabrese/Darren Calabrese/THE CANADIAN PRESS

Bombardier Aerospace appears to be gaining some momentum after receiving its second order for regional aircraft in less than a week.

The latest order announced Monday to an unnamed customer was for five Q400 NextGen aircraft with a list price of $160-million (U.S.).

The airplane-making unit of Bombardier Inc. said the order came from a company that has asked to remain unidentified for now.

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"Q400 and Q400 NextGen aircraft have been gaining headway in markets around the world, and approximately 40 operators now have these aircraft in service or on firm order," said Mike Arcamone, president of the company's commercial aircraft division.

Bombardier said it has 418 firm orders for its Q400 and Q400 NextGen aircraft, with 389 delivered by the end of 2011.

Benoit Poirier of Desjardins Securities Inc. said the order demonstrates some sales momentum for Bombardier.

"Though small in size, this transaction brings much-needed life to Bombardier's Q400 backlog," he wrote in a report.

The backlog for the Toronto-made turbo stands at 29 aircraft or 17 months versus the company's target of 18 to 21 months.

The order follows another deal with an unnamed carrier last Friday. That deal for six CRJ1000 NextGen aircraft was valued at $297-million and has options for another 18 jets.

The deal could be worth up to $1.32-billion if all options are exercised. Some observers had suspected the order was with Garuda Indonesia.

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But published reports quoted the airline's CEO saying that an order for 18 CRJ1000s will be announced at next week's Singapore Air Show.

"These comments more than likely confirm that Garuda is not the undisclosed customer for last Friday's order for up to 24 CRJ1000s and thus its order would be in addition to the order announced last Friday," added Mr. Poirier.

Bombardier ended the third quarter with a firm order backlog of 52 CRJs, representing 12 months of production.

The company would have an estimated 64 units in its backlog or about 26 months of production when including the potential order from Garuda, the other two orders received since Oct. 31, and 13 deliveries made in the fourth quarter, said Mr. Poirier.

On Thursday, Bombardier identified China Express Airlines as the undisclosed customer in a deal announced last October involving CRJ900 NextGen aircraft.

The company is part of Bombardier Inc., a train and plane manufacturer with revenues of nearly $18-billion for its last fiscal year and operations around the world.

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