Bombardier Lands First CSeries Customer in Southeast Asia

   A new airline planning to launch operations out of Senai International Airport in Johor Bahru, Malaysia, has signed a letter of intent with Bombardier covering the purchase of 20 CSeries CS100s and options on another 20, the Canadian airframer announced Monday at Malaysia’s Langkawi International Maritime and Aerospace Exhibition (LIMA). The new airline, called Flymojo, would become Bombardier’s first CSeries operator in Southeast Asia when it begins operations in the first quarter of 2016. Apart from its primary base at Senai, it also plans to operate a hub in Kota Kinabalu, Sabah. Bombardier places the value of what would become a 20-aircraft firm order at $1.47 billion.

At a signing ceremony at Langkawi, Malaysian prime minister Najib Tun Razak appeared with Flymojo managing director Janardhanan Gopala Krishnan, along with country’s transport minister, Liow Tiong Lai; the deputy minister of transport, Aziz Kaprawi; Canada’s high commissioner to Malaysia, Judith St. George; Flymojo chairman Alies Anor Abdul and Bombardier Commercial Aircraft vice president of sales for China and Asia-Pacific Andy Solem.

“With Flymojo’s primary hub at Senai International Airport, Johor and secondary hub in Kota Kinabalu, Sabah, the airline’s ultra-modern fleet of CS100 aircraft will play a key role in improving connectivity between the peninsula and Sabah and Sarawak, as well as other parts of the region,” said Aziz. “In addition, as the only airline utilizing the southern corridor as its headquarters, Flymojo will transform Senai into a key regional aviation and logistics hub, augmenting the government’s initiatives in developing Iskandar Malaysia and the southern corridor. Further strengthening Kota Kinabalu’s standing as a gateway into Malaysia, Flymojo will also boost tourism into Sabah and Sarawak.”

The deal comes at a particularly opportune time for Bombardier, whose well documented delays in developing the CSeries have raised the cost of the program to $5.4 billion, or roughly $2 billion over budget. Meanwhile, Bombardier hasn’t yet met its firm order target of 300 airplanes by the time it gains certification, now scheduled for the second half of this year, some two years later than originally planned.

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