(Reuters) - The Quebec government will offer commercial-priced loans to purchasers of Bombardier’s made-in-Quebec CSeries plane, according to a document published in the province’s Official Gazette this week.
The document said the government would offer loans totaling up to $1 billion, and stated that Bombardier had requested government involvement in financing the planes.
The official decree orders Investment Quebec, a provincial government business credit agency, to provide the financing “to the clients of Bombardier Inc. for the purchase of CSeries airplanes assembled in Quebec, up to a maximum cumulative amount of US$1 billion.”
Quebec said the manufacturing of airplanes was of significant economic interest to the province.
The CSeries will be Bombardier’s biggest aircraft, and it takes the company into a new market segment, competing with smaller jets from industry leaders Boeing Co and Airbus.
The new jet is not just an engineering challenge. Bombardier must win over customers as well, and orders have been sluggish. As of late March, it had 148 firm orders of its targeted 300, though that figure excludes a 32 jet commitment to Russia’s Ilyushin Finance Co that needs shareholder approval.
Bombardier said last month that it is behind schedule in developing the plane but expects the first test flight by the end of June.
Reporting by Janet Guttsman and Allison Martell; Editing by Nick Zieminski