SAKHIR, KINGDOM OF BAHRAIN--(Marketwired - Jan. 16, 2014) - Bombardier Aerospace announced today that Dammam-based Al Qahtani Aviation Company has signed a firm purchase agreement for 16 CS300 aircraft with options for an additional 10 CS300 jetliners. The aircraft will be operated by SaudiGulf Airlines, a newly launched national carrier from the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. Al Qahtani Aviation Company and SaudiGulf Airlines are both owned by Abdel Hadi Abdullah Al-Qahtani & Sons Group of Companies (Tariq Al-Qahtani & Bros.).
Based on the list price of the aircraft, the firm order for the 16 CS300 aircraft is valued at approximately $1.21 billion US. Should all 10 options be exercised, the value of the contract would increase to $1.99 billion US.
"This is an exciting time for the aviation industry in the Arab states and neighbouring regions, particularly when you consider that more than 54 million passengers moved through Saudi Arabia's 27 airports last year alone," said Sheikh Tariq Al Qahtani, Chairman, SaudiGulf Airlines. "We are very excited about the CSeries aircraft's suitability for this market and the long-term success it will bring to the region.
"With its clean-sheet design, modern technologies and competitive costs, the CSeries aircraft will give us the opportunity to introduce a new, quality, premium airline and an economically sustainable business model in Saudi Arabia, serving the domestic market, the Gulf and Middle East. SaudiGulf's CSeries aircraft will offer wide and comfortable, leather seats, and in-flight entertainment in first-class, as well as economy-class seats," added Sheikh Tariq.
"We have long been noting that the CSeries aircraft is attracting progressive airlines that are keen on opening new markets and operations," said Mike Arcamone, President, Bombardier Commercial Aircraft. "We are thrilled that SaudiGulf Airlines, based in the largest Arab economy - and one with an underserved air travel market - will base the core of its business plan on the CSeries aircraft.
"In addition to supporting SaudiGulf Airlines in the region, the CS300 aircraft will allow for growth into new markets such as the Indian subcontinent and parts of Europe, as the airline seeks to expand its network and give passengers the latest in cabin comfort," added Mr. Arcamone.
Designed for the growing 100- to 149-seat market, the 100 per cent new CSeries aircraft family combines advanced materials, leading-edge technology and proven methods to meet commercial airline requirements. Powered by Pratt & Whitney PurePower PW1500G engines, the CSeries aircraft family will offer a 15(i) per cent cash operating cost advantage and a 20(i) per cent fuel burn advantage. With the extra capacity seating option, the CS300 aircraft's productivity further improves, offering airlines an average of four(i) per cent additional cash operating cost advantage per seat. The CSeries aircraft's clean-sheet design is ensuring that the aircraft will achieve greatly reduced noise and emissions, as well as superior operational flexibility, exceptional airfield performance and a range of 2,950 NM (5,463 km)(i). The CSeries aircraft will be up to 12,000 lbs. (5,443 kg)(i) lighter than other aircraft in the same seat category and will provide passengers with a best-in-class, widebody cabin environment in a single-aisle aircraft.
Including the order announced today, Bombardier has booked orders and commitments for 445 CSeries aircraft, which include firm orders for 198 CSeries airliners. Some 17 customers and lessees have joined the CSeries aircraft program.
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