Porter Aviation Holdings Inc. is to announce an order for up to 30 Bombardier Inc. CSeries jetliners, according to two people familiar with the deal.
The order, expected to be announced as early as Wednesday, will finalize a letter of intent the small Canadian carrier initially signed with Bombardier in December. At the time Bombardier attributed the order to an unidentified customer, and said it included a dozen 110-seat CS100 jets and options for another 18 jets. Bombardier said then that the 30 planes were valued at $2.08 billion before discounts.
Porter Airlines aims to significantly expand beyond its current fleet of Bombardier turboprop aircraft and serve destinations across the U.S. from its perch at the small, downtown Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport (YTZ/CYTZ). Porter, which caters to a clientele of business travelers, has a history of aggressive moves against bigger rivals like Air Canada, the country's flag carrier, which fly mostly from the much-larger Toronto Pearson International airport.
Billy Bishop airport has a relatively short 4,000-foot runway, which limits traffic from larger jet aircraft. According to those familiar with the deal, Porter's plan to use the CSeries to open new routes is based on ambitious noise reductions and performance targets from Bombardier, which is using quieter, more-efficient engines from United Technologies Corp. unit Pratt & Whitney for the CSeries.