Bombardier signs record $7.8 billion deal with VistaJet

Tue Nov 27, 2012 12:37pm EST
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By Susan Taylor

TORONTO/LONDON (Reuters) - Bombardier Inc (BBDb.TO: Quote) has signed its largest business jet deal ever, a $7.8 billion order from Swiss charter operator VistaJet for up to 142 Global aircraft that highlights the Canadian company's success in an expanding segment of the market.

The deal, which eclipses Bombardier's previous record sale,$7.3 billion worth of Challenger planes to NetJets in June, sent Bombardier shares 8 percent higher.

"By any standard, this is a historic order for Bombardier," said Steve Ridolfi, president of Bombardier Business Aircraft, a unit of the Montreal-based plane and train maker.

VistaJet, which operates from London, Moscow, Dubai, Beijing and other locations, has placed a firm order for 56 jets worth $3.1 billion, with options on 86 more planes. Bombardier, the world's third-biggest planemaker, said deliveries are scheduled to begin in 2014.

The order's $7.8 billion value is based on 2012 list prices, but airlines typically negotiate steep discounts when they buy planes in bulk.

"This is the single largest transaction placed with any manufacturer in the entire history of business aviation," VistaJet founder and Chairman Thomas Flohr said at a press conference with Bombardier in London.

The planes will play a key part in VistaJet's expansion plans, he said, and its push to make business aviation more accessible in "embryonic" markets.

The aircraft will serve growth regions such as Russia, Kazakhstan, China, the Middle East and all of Africa, Flohr said, along with the U.S. East Coast and West Coast.   Continued...

A VistaJet Canadair CL-600-2B19 Challenger 850 aircraft is taxied at an airfield in Singapore February 1, 2010. REUTERS/Tim Chong