Bombardier bags its biggest order for 20 Challenger 300 business jets

Bombardier has won its biggest Challenger 300 contract yet. It will sell 20 of the business jets to leasing and charter operator Xojet, with an option for 60 more. The order is valued at about $450-million for the 20 planes. The total may rise to around $1.9 billion if the option is exercised.

Xojet, which is based in San Carlos, California, ordered the planes at the National Business Aviation Association (NBAA) conference in Atlanta. Bombardier said yesterday that it has bagged orders for 103 business aircraft last quarter, a 54 per cent jump from a year earlier. A large number of buyers are from Russia and West Asian countries.

The Challenger 300 can carry 13 passengers and has a range of 5,741 km. Bombardier ranks behind Boeing and Airbus in worldwide commercial plane sales. Bombardier's other products include the Learjet family of business aircraft and CRJ regional jets.

The Montreal-based Bombardier and Brazil's Empresa Brasileira de Aeronautica SA (Embraer) are benefiting from surging business jet demand as corporate fliers are acquiring new planes to avoid commercial airline delays.