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

Tired of Waiting, South Africans Demand Change ‘Now’

With chronic poverty and lack of basic services largely fueling recent xenophobic attacks, many in Rainbow Nation say it’s time for government to act More

Challenges Ahead for China's Development Plans in Pakistan

Planned $46 billion in energy and infrastructure investments in Pakistan are aimed at transforming the country into a regional hub for trade and investment More

Audio 'Forbidden City' Revisits Little Known Era of Asian-American Entertainment

Little-known chapter of entertainment history captured in 80s documentary is revisited in new digitally remastered format and book More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Study: Insecticide Damaging Wild Bee Populationsi
X
April 24, 2015 10:13 PM
A popular but controversial type of insecticide is damaging important wild bee populations, according to a new study. VOA’s Steve Baragona has more.
Video

Video Study: Insecticide Damaging Wild Bee Populations

A popular but controversial type of insecticide is damaging important wild bee populations, according to a new study. VOA’s Steve Baragona has more.
Video

Video Data Servers Could Heat Private Homes

As every computer owner knows, when their machines run a complex program they get pretty hot. In fact, cooling the processors can be expensive, especially when you're dealing with huge banks of computer servers. But what if that energy could heat private homes? VOA’s George Putic reports that a Dutch energy firm aims to do just that.
Video

Video Cinema That Crosses Borders Showcased at Tribeca Film Festival

Among the nearly 100 feature length films being shown at this year’s Tribeca Film Festival in New York City are more than 20 documentaries and features with international appeal, from a film about a Congolese businessman in China, to documentaries shot in Pakistan and diaspora communities in the U.S., to a poetic look at disaffected South African youth. VOA’s Carolyn Weaver has more.
Video

Video UN Confronts Threat of Young Radicals

The radicalization and recruitment of young people into Islamist extremist groups has become a growing challenge for governments worldwide. On Thursday, the U.N. Security Council heard from experts on the issue, which has become a potent threat to international peace and security. VOA’s Margaret Besheer reports.
Video

Video Growing Numbers of Turks Discover Armenian Ancestry

In a climate of improved tolerance, growing numbers of people in Turkey are discovering their grandmothers were Armenian. Hundreds of thousands of Armenians escaped the mass deportations and slaughter of the early 1900's by forced conversion to Islam. Or, Armenian children were taken in by Turkish families and assimilated. Now their stories are increasingly being heard. Dorian Jones reports from Istanbul that the revelations are viewed as an important step.
Video

Video Migrants Trek Through Western Balkans to Reach EU

Migrants from Africa and other places are finding different routes into the European Union in search of a better life. The Associated Press followed one clandestine group to document their trek through the western Balkans to Hungary. Zlatica Hoke reports that the migrants started using that route about four years ago. Since then, it has become the second-most popular path into Western Europe, after the option of sailing from North Africa to Italy.
Video

Video TIME Magazine Honors Activists, Pioneers Seen as Influential

TIME Magazine has released its list of celebrities, leaders and activists, whom it deems the world’s “most influential” in 2015. VOA's Ramon Taylor reports from New York.
Video

Video US Businesses See Cuba as New Frontier

The Obama administration's opening toward Cuba is giving U.S. companies hope they'll be able to do business in Cuba despite the continuation of the U.S. economic embargo against the communist nation. Some American companies have been able to export some products to Cuba, but the recent lifting of Cuba's terrorism designation could relax other restrictions. As VOA's Daniela Schrier reports, corporate heavy hitters are lining up to head across the Florida Straits - though experts urge caution.
Video

Video Kenya Launches Police Recruitment Drive After Terror Attacks

Kenya launched a major police recruitment drive this week as part of a large-scale effort to boost security following a recent spate of terror attacks. VOA’s Gabe Joselow reports that allegations of corruption in the process are raising old concerns about the integrity of Kenya’s security forces.
Video

Video Japan, China in Race for Asia High-Speed Rail Projects

A lucrative competition is underway in Asia for billions of dollars in high-speed rail projects. Cambodia, India, Indonesia, Malaysia Thailand and Vietnam are among the countries planning to move onto the fast track. They are negotiating with Japan and the upstart Chinese who are locked in a duel to revolutionize transportation across Asia. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman in Bangkok has details.
Video

Video Scientists: Mosquitoes Attracted By Our Genes

Some people always seem to get bitten by mosquitoes more than others. Now, scientists have proved that is really the case - and they say it’s all because of genes. It’s hoped the research might lead to new preventative treatments for diseases like malaria, as Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Bible Museum Coming to Washington DC

Washington is the center of American political power and also home to some of the nation’s most visited museums. A new one that will showcase the Bible has skeptics questioning the motives of its conservative Christian funders. VOA religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Armenia and Politics of Word 'Genocide'

A century ago this April, hundreds of thousands of Armenians of the Turkish Ottoman empire were deported and massacred, and their culture erased from their traditional lands. While broadly accepted by the U.N. and at least 20 countries as “genocide”, the United States and Turkey have resisted using that word to describe the atrocities that stretched from 1915 to 1923. But Armenians have never forgotten.
Video

Video Afghan First Lady Pledges No Roll Back on Women's Rights

Afghan First Lady Rula Ghani, named one of Time's 100 Most Influential, says women should take part in talks with Taliban. VOA's Rokhsar Azamee has more from Kabul.
Video

Video New Brain Mapping Techniques Could Ease Chronic Pain

From Boulder, Colorado, Shelley Schlender reports that new methods for mapping pain in the brain are providing validation for chronic pain and might someday guide better treatment.

VOA Blogs

World Currencies

EUR
USD
0.9238
JPY
USD
119.51
GBP
USD
0.6614
CAD
USD
1.2119
INR
USD
63.562

Rates may not be current.