Bombardier sells seven aircraft, worth US$261M to airlines in Asia, Hawaii

MONTREAL – Bombardier has received firm orders for seven commercial aircraft valued at nearly US$261 million from Hawaii’s leading regional airline and two in Asia.

Island Air placed a firm order for two Q400 NextGen turboprops and has taken options for four additional dual-class 71-seat planes. The firm orders are valued at US$61 million at list prices and could increase to US$188 million if all options are exercised.

Thai low-cost carrier Nok Air has converted options for two Q400s valued at US$64 million at list price. The airline is the first customer for the new 86-seat version of the turboprop.

China Express Airlines has also converted a conditional order for three CRJ900 NextGen regional jets valued at US$136 million. The airline placed a firm order in December for three of the planes and conditional purchase agreement and options for 13 more aircraft.

The sales follow last week’s announcement that the Montreal-based aircraft manufacturer (TSX:BBD.B) sold eight aircraft valued at US$326 million, including WestJet’s conversion of five options for Q400 turboprops.

Meanwhile, Moody’s Investors Service said Monday that it has upgraded Bombardier’s speculative grade liquidity rating to SGL-2 and assigned a Ba3 rating to its proposed new senior unsecured notes due in 2019 and 2022.

The notes will boost its cash by US$500 million to US$3.9 billion after paying off US$1.3 billion of existing debt due by 2016.