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Qatar Airways delays possible deal with Bombardier

A reporter enters a full-size model of the Bombardier CSeries aircraft as it is introduced Monday, September 14, 2009 in Montreal. Qatar Airways, a potential key customer, has delayed talks with Bombardier about an order of the jets for the time being.

Paul Chiasson/The Canadian Press

Qatar Airways is putting on ice talks with Bombardier Inc. over the possible purchase of the aerospace company's all-new C Series jetliner.

The airline – a potentially key Middle Eastern client for Bombardier – said it has too much on its plate right now with other issues and needs more time before making a decision on the C Series plane.

Qatar Airways spokesman Updesh Kapur said in an email message that the airline currently has "a lot of aircraft projects. Our resources are tied to these so we will look at other programs at a later date."

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The aim is to resume talks with Montreal-based Bombardier in about six months' time, he said.

The decision is a blow to Bombardier -- which needs a big boost to its sales drive -- especially in the key, fast-growing region of the Middle East.

Qatar first expressed interest in the C Series narrow-body about two years ago and there was talk it would announce a purchase at last year's Paris Air Show.

So far, Bombardier has 11 customers who have put in firm orders for 138 C Series jets, with options, purchase rights and letters of intent for another 169 planes.

Bombardier has said it wants 30 customers and more than 300 firm orders by 2013, when the C Series is scheduled to enter service.

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About the Author
Quebec Business Correspondent

Bertrand has been covering Quebec business and finance since 2000. Before joining The Globe and Mail in 2000, he was the Toronto-based national business correspondent for Southam News. He has a B.A. from McGill University and a Bachelor of Applied Arts from Ryerson. More

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