LONDON (Reuters) - International Airlines Group ICAG.L, owner of British Airways and Iberia, would consider adding Bombardier Inc’s BBDb.TO CSeries jet to its fleet in future, said its CEO, adding that confidence in the aircraft was boosted by a recent order.
Bombardier secured a major order for its new CSeries on Thursday when Delta Airlines DAL.N ordered 75 jets, a deal which the manufacturer hopes is a turning point in its attempt to break into the fleets of top airlines.
IAG Chief Executive Willie Walsh said on Friday that while the CSeries was not currently on his shopping list, he would continue to look at it as an option.
“It’s not part of our plans at this stage but having said that there’s plenty of scope in our future plans to look at the CSeries as a potential aircraft within the IAG fleet,” he told reporters on a call.
The CSeries serves the niche market for 100-seat planes spurned by larger rivals Boeing BA.N and Airbus AIR.PA, where Bombardier faces competition from Brazil’s Embraer EMBR3.SA.
The Delta order would make a difference to the jet’s popularity, Walsh said.
“It will give confidence to others to look at the aircraft ... people wanted to see some significant hard orders before they wanted to commit to it,” he said.
Another of IAG’s airlines, Vueling, had in the past carried out a detailed evaluation of the CSeries but decided against it, Walsh said.
Reporting by Sarah Young; Editing by Elaine Hardcastle