A Canadian-based airline has ordered up to 30 planes from Bombardier, in a boost for its factory in east Belfast.
Wings for the C-series aircraft are made at a new facility in Queen’s Island.
The deal involves Porter Airlines, which operates in North America.
They had previously expressed an interest in buying C-series jets, but this has now been firmed up.
The first test flight of the new C-Series is scheduled in the summer.
The order boost to Bombardier has been welcomed by east Belfast Alliance MP Naomi Long.
She said: “This is further positive news for Bombardier and the workforce at its East Belfast factory.
” It is good for the economy, not just in East Belfast but in Northern Ireland. This order shows that Belfast can play a part in large international business deals.
“This is the latest in a number of large orders that have been secured by Bombardier in recent months, which is important in sustaining the long term future of their East Belfast site.
“It is an indication of the hard work of the Bombardier workers whose product is rightly viewed as being among the best in the world.
“Bombardier is one of the most respected firms in the Northern Irish economy.
“It is following in the tradition of other great industrial and manufacturing companies such as Harland and Wolff that put Northern Ireland on the world map.
“With this deal, it will continue Northern Ireland’s proud industrial heritage.”
In December, Bombardier Aerospace announced that an airline based in the Americas is close to signing an order for up to 30 planes.
The Candian owners say the company had signed a Letter of Intent to acquire 12 CS100 airliners with options on a further 18.
However, the airline at the centre of the possible deal has asked that its name not be disclosed at the time.
A firm order for 12 CS100 airliners would be valued at around US 870 million dollars.
However, that is now expected to rise to $2.08 billion US dollars with confirmation of a further 18 more planes.
“We are thrilled with the worldwide momentum of interest being shown for the CSeries aircraft program,” said Mike Arcamone, President, Bombardier Commercial Aircraft.
“And we are pleased that customers in both our traditional aviation markets and growth markets are exploring opportunities and centering business cases around the use of the CSeries jetliners.
“As the CS100 aircraft readies for a milestone year of firsts, we look forward to welcoming yet another customer to the CSeries aircraft family.
“This customer selected the CS100 jetliners based on the flexibility and superior operational efficiencies offered only by the CSeries aircraft family.”
Since September 30 this year, Bombardier had booked orders and commitments for 352 CSeries aircraft that include firm orders for 138 CSeries airliners.
The 14 customers that have joined the CSeries aircraft program – nine with firm orders – include major network carriers, national and premier carriers, low-cost airlines, leasing companies and a full service provider to airline partners.
The wings for the first CSeries flight test vehicle (FTV1) are being mated to the fuselage at the company’s final assembly facility in Mirabel, Québec, after arriving from Bombardier Aerospace Belfast in December.
Assembly of FTV1 is progressing smoothly in preparation for first flight by the end of June 2013.
Additionally, assembly of the Complete Airframe Static Test (CAST) article for the CSeries aircraft is complete and the instrumentation and loading system were finalized for the start of airframe tests in January 2013.