November 18, 2008 / 10:06 PM / 10 years ago

UPDATE 1-Alaska Air may defer Bombardier plane deliveries

(Updates with details)

TORONTO, Nov 18 (Reuters) - Alaska Air Group (ALK.N) is in talks with Canadian manufacturer Bombardier (BBDb.TO) about deferring deliveries of Q400 turboprop aircraft to its Horizon Air unit, the company said in a filing on Tuesday.

The move comes as Alaska Air and other U.S. airlines cut jobs and flights to counter the effects of a slowing economy that has reduced demand for air travel.

“Horizon is in discussions with Bombardier about deferring future Q400 aircraft deliveries and retiming them to coincide with the successful remarketing and transition out of the CRJ-700 aircraft,” Alaska Air said in the filing.

Bombardier’s turboprop line had enjoyed a resurgence earlier this year as rising fuel prices drove carriers to order more efficient aircraft. But in recent months, fuel costs have plunged along with the outlook for global economic growth.

The company said Bombardier has already proposed a deferral schedule that would include the delivery of one aircraft by the end of this year, five next year, five in 2010, and the last three sometime later.

“We are continuing to negotiate and the schedule is subject to change,” Alaska Air said.

An official for Bombardier was not immediately available.

The Seattle-based company is also expecting some delays in the delivery of 737-800 Boeing aircraft due to a machinists strike. (Reporting by Richard Valdmanis; editing by Rob Wilson)

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