Two more US Airlines have asked US authorities to reject the complaint by Boeing against the Bombardier CSeries. Spirit Airlines, which operates 112 Airbus aircraft, and Sun Country Airlines, which operates 22 Boeing aircraft, both wrote letters against Boeing’s complaint and in favor of the CSeries.
Spirit’s CFO, Edward Christie, wrote that “Spirit believes that Boeing’s complaint is an inappropriate way to block the entry of Bombardier’s CSeries into the US market.” He further notes that if Spirit were to purchase aircraft in the 100-140 seat class, Airbus and Boeing would not be considered, since they do not manufacture aircraft of that size. He went on to say “If Boeing’s complaint prevails, Spirit would be deprived of access to aircraft that would provide significant benefits to US travelers.”
Sun Country’s CEO, Jude Bricker, stated that “American travelers have the right to access the benefits of all aircraft, whether they are from Boeing, Airbus, Bombardier, Embraer or any other aircraft manufacturer.” He indicated that the punitive measures claimed by Boeing would amount to a “tax for American travelers” and could result in an increase in the price of certain tickets.
The Department of Commerce is expected to announce September 25th whether or not it will impose punitive measures against Bombardier. Just last week Marc Allen, the president of the international division at Boeing stated that the company had no intention of withdrawing the complaint. Ottawa has threatened to abandon its multi-billion interim buying plan for 18 Boeing Super Hornet combat aircraft.
Late last month, six Senators and members of the House of Representatives from Kansas and West Virginia wrote to US authorities reminding them of the economic impact Bombardier facilities have in their districts in the US, and potential negative consequences should the measure go through.
The Bottom Line:
While most industry analysts believe Boeing doesn’t have a leg to stand on, as it makes no competing aircraft in the CSeries size category, this decision will be political rather than logical, so anything can happen. We will just have to wait and see what happens next.