ARLINGTON, Va., May 12, 2003—US Airways has set into motion another key element of its business recovery plan today with an agreement to purchase a total of at least 170 Canadair and Embraer regional jets from Bombardier Aerospace of Canada and Embraer of Brazil, respectively. The first aircraft delivery is scheduled for October 2003.
The order equally splits between the world`s two leading regional jet manufacturers a combination of 170 firm orders and 380 options to purchase aircraft. The estimated value of the firm order, based upon list price, is approximately $4.3 billion. Financing terms were not disclosed.
“These new regional jets will enable US Airways to generate additional revenue by growing our route network and competing more vigorously in short-to-medium-length haul markets,” said US Airways President and Chief Executive Officer David N. Siegel. “The RJs also will enable us to increase hub feed by adding new markets that were too distant for turboprop aircraft, and replace current turboprop flying, which will please many customers who prefer jet aircraft. Regional jets will allow us to replace and complement larger jet aircraft on routes with poor to marginal performance, which then can be re-deployed to operate in more profitable destinations, such as the Caribbean and on other routes where we currently do not fly.”
“Both manufacturers were extremely aggressive in vying for our business. I believe that this agreement is going to benefit US Airways and its employees, and brings the greatest value to our company,” said Siegel. “As a result of this great deal, we were able to split the order equally between Bombardier and Embraer.”
Under the Bombardier agreement, US Airways has firm orders for 60 CRJ Series 200, 50-seat single-class aircraft; and 25 CRJ Series 700, 75-seat dual-class aircraft. The 50-seat order for the CRJ Series 200 aircraft is scheduled to be delivered beginning in October 2003 to US Airways Express wholly owned subsidiary PSA Airlines. All firm order CRJ aircraft will be delivered by April 2005.
US Airways also has placed firm orders for 85 Embraer 170, 70-seat, dual class aircraft, with the first delivery scheduled for November 2003 to MidAtlantic Airways, a regional jet division of US Airways, Inc. US Airways has the option to convert the Embraer 170s to Embraer 175s with 76 seats. All Embraer 170 deliveries are to be received by September 2006.
Siegel said that these smaller jet aircraft are extremely well suited to serve the US Airways network and will fill in nicely with schedules at key times at the airline`s hubs in Charlotte, N.C., Philadelphia and Pittsburgh, as well as its major East Coast operations at Boston, New York LaGuardia and Reagan Washington National.
“We are extremely pleased that US Airways has selected the Bombardier CRJ family of regional jets as part of its profit strategy,” said Pierre Beaudoin, president and chief operating officer, Bombardier Aerospace. “US Airways will realize the operating benefits of high performance, low operating costs and family commonality. In addition, US Airways customers will also enjoy more convenient, comfortable service.”
“To be a part of US Airways` remarkable growth plan and to have them as the launch customer in North America for the Embraer 170 is exciting for all of us at Embraer,” said Mau’cio Botelho, president and chief executive officer of Embraer. “US Airways is redefining the American commercial airline market, and we are very proud to be supplying the Embraer 170, an aircraft that is redefining what people expect from a commercial airliner.”
The CRJ Series 700 aircraft and the Embraer 170s will offer both First and Coach-Class service. Every seat is either an aisle or window seat. These regional jets also provide comfortable leg space with plenty of overhead and under-the-seat baggage storage room and stand-up headroom. They have a cruising speed of around 500 miles per hour and can cruise at altitudes above 30,000 feet. GE engines will power each of these regional jets.
US Airways is the nation`s seventh-largest airline, serving nearly 200 communities in the U.S., Canada, Mexico, the Caribbean and Europe. US Airways, US Airways Shuttle, and the US Airways Express partner carriers operate over 3,300 flights per day, with US Airways Express wholly owned subsidiaries and affiliate carriers operating more than 60 percent of those flights. For additional information on fares and schedules, visit US Airways online at usairways.com.
Bombardier Aerospace, a unit of Bombardier Inc., is a world leader in the design and manufacture of innovative aviation products and provides services for the regional, business and amphibious aircraft markets. It also offers Bombardier Flexjet* and Bombardier Skyjet* business aircraft programs, technical services, and aircraft maintenance and pilot training for business, regional airline and military customers.
Bombardier Inc., a diversified manufacturing and services company, is a world-leading manufacturer of business jets, regional aircraft, rail transportation equipment and motorized recreational products. It also provides financial services and asset management in business areas aligned with its core expertise. Headquartered in Montréal, Canada, the corporation has a workforce of some 75,000 people and manufacturing facilities in 25 countries throughout the Americas, Europe and Asia-Pacific.
Embraer (Empresa Brasileira de Aeronáutica S.A. - NYSE: ERJ; Bovespa: EMBR3 and EMBR4) is one of the world`s leading aerospace companies. With headquarters in São José dos Campos, state of São Paulo, and offices and customer service bases in Australia, China, France, Singapore and the United States, the Company as of March 31, 2003, has a total workforce of 12,407 people. Embraer was Brazil`s largest exporter from 1999 to 2001, and second largest in 2002. As of March 31, 2003, Embraer`s firm order backlog totaled US$7.9 billion and the total backlog, including options, equaled US$19.2 billion.