News / Economy

Sources: Air Canada Appears Close to Buying up to 60 Jets

FILE - Passengers walk past Air Canada planes on the runway at Pearson International Airport in Toronto.
FILE - Passengers walk past Air Canada planes on the runway at Pearson International Airport in Toronto.
Reuters
Air Canada appears close to deciding whether to buy up to 60 new narrowbody jets from Airbus or Boeing Co., a decision that could settle which of the giant plane makers wins their annual order race, industry sources said.

The Canadian flag carrier has said it is looking to renew its fleet of single-aisle aircraft, which currently includes more than 50 Airbus A320 and A321 jets, as well as 45 Embraer 190 planes.

Chief Executive Calin Rovinescu had previously said he hopes a decision will be made by the end of the year, noting the decision would involve more than 100 airplanes.

A spokesman for Air Canada said no decision had been made, but two people familiar with the matter said a decision could come as early as next week when the airline's board meets.

The airline spokesman declined to comment on the timing of any board discussions.

“We typically don't talk about board meetings,” said Air Canada spokesman Peter Fitzpatrick, who also declined to comment on the board's agenda. “I can tell you on the record that no decision has been made.”

Industry sources said Air Canada was expected to address its fleet renewal needs in two phases, starting with a decision on whether to stick with Airbus for medium-haul jets, and pick its revamped A320neo version, or switch to the Boeing 737 MAX.

Both plane makers claim their latest medium-haul offerings provide better fuel savings and easier maintenance.

The airline is expected to opt for 30 or more jets immediately by placing firm orders and place options for up to another 30 as insurance against a faster than expected upturn in the economy, the sources said, asking not to be identified.

Such a deal would be worth up to $6 billion if all the options were exercised.

Airbus and Boeing both declined to comment.

The decision is subject to delay or changes in volume but if approved, would mark the climax to a bruising and widely watched campaign between the world's dominant plane makers.

Airbus was ahead of its U.S. rival in the number of orders in the first 11 months of the year, but the race for the 2013 order crown looks finely balanced once recent deals that have yet to make it into the order books are added to the tally.

The sources denied an industry report that Airbus had already been selected for the deal.

Boeing, which dominates Air Canada's fleet of wide-body jets, is trying to overturn Airbus as incumbent operator for medium-haul planes at Air Canada.

A win for Boeing in its home region would mark a rebound in the region after Airbus displaced it at Mexican low-cost airline VivaAerobus in a fierce contest earlier this year.

However, analysts say airlines do not frequently make the switch between different jets because of the costs of re-training and accommodating new spare parts.

Air Canada could place additional orders for the slightly smaller Embraer jets at a later date and is expected to compare the new, domestically produced Bombardier CSeries with the Embraer E2 family.

RBC analyst Walter Spracklin said in a client note on Friday that Air Canada could potentially put in an order for 30 CSeries planes.

Prospective airlines have been holding off making firm order decisions on the CSeries, which started flight tests in September, until Bombardier releases flight data.

“A full performance data set could be two to three months away,” said Spracklin.

You May Like

UN Ambassador Power Highlights Plight of Women Prisoners

She launches the 'Free the 20' campaign, aimed at profiling women being deprived of their freedom around the world More

Satellite Launch Sparks Spectacular Light Show

A slight delay in a satellite launch lit up the Florida sky early this morning More

Fleeing IS Killings in Syria, Family Reaches Bavaria

Exhausted, scared and under-nourished, Khalil and Maha's tale mirrors those of thousands of refugees from war-torn countries who have left their homes in the hopes of finding a better life More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Nobel Prize Winner Malala Talks to VOAi
X
August 31, 2015 2:17 AM
Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai met with VOA's Deewa service in Washington Sunday to talk about women’s rights and unveil a trailer for her new documentary. VOA's Katherine Gypson has more.
Video

Video Nobel Prize Winner Malala Talks to VOA

Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai met with VOA's Deewa service in Washington Sunday to talk about women’s rights and unveil a trailer for her new documentary. VOA's Katherine Gypson has more.
Video

Video War, Drought Threaten Iraq's Marshlands

Iraq's southern wetlands are in crisis. These areas are the spawning ground for Gulf fisheries, a resting place for migrating wildfowl, and source of livelihood for fishermen and herders. Faith Lapidus has more.
Video

Video Colombians Flee Venezuela as Border Crisis Escalates

Hundreds of Colombians have fled Venezuela since last week, amid an escalating border crisis between the two countries. Last week, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro ordered the closure of a key border crossing after smugglers injured three Venezuelan soldiers and a civilian. The president also ordered the deportation of Colombians who are in Venezuela illegally. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Rebuilding New Orleans' Music Scene

Ten years after Hurricane Katrina inundated New Orleans, threatening to wash away its vibrant musical heritage along with its neighborhoods, the beat goes on. As Bronwyn Benito and Faith Lapidus report, a Musicians' Village is preserving the city's unique sound.
Video

Video In Russia, Auto Industry in Tailspin

Industry insiders say country relies too heavily on imports as inflation cuts too many consumers out of the market. Daniel Schearf has more from Moscow.
Video

Video Scientist Calls Use of Fetal Tissue in Medical Research Essential

An anti-abortion group responsible for secret recordings of workers at a women's health care organization claims the workers shown are offering baby parts for sale, a charge the organization strongly denies. While the selling of fetal tissue is against the law in the United States, abortion and the use of donated fetal tissue for medical research are both legal. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
Video

Video Next to Iran, Climate at Forefront of Obama Agenda

President Barack Obama this week announced new initiatives aimed at making it easier for Americans to access renewable energy sources such as solar and wind. Obama is not slowing down when it comes to pushing through climate change measures, an issue he says is the greatest threat to the country’s national security. VOA correspondent Aru Pande has more from the White House.
Video

Video Arctic Draws International Competition for Oil

A new geopolitical “Great Game” is underway in earth’s northernmost region, the Arctic, where Russia has claimed a large area for resource development and President Barack Obama recently approved Shell Oil Company’s test-drilling project in an area under U.S. control. Greg Flakus reports.
Video

Video Philippine Maritime Police: Chinese Fishermen a Threat to Country’s Security

China and the Philippines both claim maritime rights in the South China Sea.  That includes the right to fish in those waters. Jason Strother reports on how the Philippines is catching Chinese nationals it says are illegal poachers. He has the story from Palawan province.
Video

Video China's Spratly Island Building Said to Light Up the Night 'Like A City'

Southeast Asian countries claim China has illegally seized territory in the Spratly islands. It is especially a concern for a Philippine mayor who says Beijing is occupying parts of his municipality. Jason Strother reports from the capital of Palawan province, Puerto Princesa.
Video

Video Ages-old Ice Reveals Secrets of Climate Change

Ice caps don't just exist at the world's poles. There are also tropical ice caps, and the largest sits atop the Peruvian Andes - but it is melting, quickly, and may be gone within the next 20 years. George Putic reports scientists are now rushing to take samples to get at the valuable information about climate change locked in the ice.

VOA Blogs

World Currencies

EUR
USD
0.8916
JPY
USD
121.32
GBP
USD
0.6487
CAD
USD
1.3252
INR
USD
66.401

Rates may not be current.