New Malaysian carrier in $1.5-bn Bombardier deal

Malaysia's newly formed airline Flymojo has signed a deal to buy 20 Bombardier CS 100 jets, poised to become the first operator of the Canadian passenger jets in the region.

The announcement of the new airline came at Malaysia's Langkawi International Maritime & Aerospace Exhibition opened today.

Operated by Fly Mojo Sdn Bhd, Flymojo targets the travel market within ASEAN and the regions bordering it.

A letter of intent signed between flymojo's managing director Janardhanan Gopala Krishnan and Frank Baistrocchi, Bombardier Inc's vice president for the Asia-Pacific region.

The agreement includes options for additional 20 CS 100 jets. Based on the list price, the deal is valued at $1.5 billion which could increase to $3 billion, should flymojo exercise the options.

Montreal-based Bombardier's CSeries aircraft is said to be specifically designed for the 100 to 149 seat, single-aisle market. The company claims 15 per cent savings in operating costs through its leading-edge technology, systems integration, advanced materials and aerodynamics.

The company has more than 600 orders and commitments for its CSeries aircraft, including 243 firm orders.

The new airline will be based in Johar with a secondary hub in Kota Kinabalu.

''With flymojo's primary hub at Senai International Airport, Johor and secondary hub in Kota Kinabalu, Sabah, the airline's ultra-modern fleet of CS100 aircraft will play a key role in improving connectivity between the Peninsula and Sabah and Sarawak, as well as other parts of the region,'' Malaysia deputy minister of transport Aziz Kaprawi said.

Canada's minister of international trade Ed Fast said, ''On behalf of the government of Canada, I would like to congratulate Malaysia's Flymojo and Bombardier Commercial Aircraft as they work together to bring the CSeries aircraft to Malaysia and the ASEAN region.''

''Born of the desire to make air travel a much-anticipated and longed for experience, Flymojo is dedicated to providing value, and exceptional customer service that will focus on putting the human touch back into flying,'' said flymojo chairman, Alies Anor Abdul.

 ''With its strategic market footing and unique operations, flymojo is an ideal match for the all-new CS100 jetliner,'' said Mike Arcamone, president, Bombardier Commercial Aircraft.

Last month, Bombardier reported a 43-per cent fall in Q4 earnings compared to a year ago primarily on account of a 36-per cent fall in net income to $83 million. Revenue for the quarter increased 12 per cent to $6 billion due to 16-per cent growth in its aerospace segment and 7.5-per cent growth in the transportation segment. For the whole year, the revenue was $20.1 billion.