Bombardier just landed a huge deal that could rescue its Boeing-challenging new jet

Bombardier’s embattled C-Series airliner has finally found the major North American airline customer it has been searching for.

Air Canada announced today that it will order 45 CS-300 airliners with an option for another 30 jets.

“We are delighted to announce this important agreement with Bombardier for the purchase of CS300 aircraft as part of the ongoing modernization of Air Canada’s narrowbody fleet,” Air Canada president and CEO Calin Rovinescu said in a statement.

“With its high fuel efficiency performance and greater seating capacity, the next generation technology of the C Series is very well suited for our current and future network strategy and will be an extremely efficient addition to our fleet.”

The 45 plane order is worth as much as $3.7 billion. The option for 30 additional CS-300s could add as much as $2.5 billion to the deal.

Times have been tough in recent months for Bombardier’s critically acclaimed Airbus and Boeing challenger.

Although most industry observers say that the state-of-the-art airliner is among the best on the market, the C-Series had gone more than a year with an order. So we’re not surprised that Canada’s national carrier has stepped up to lend a hand — and we’ve reached out to Bombardier, Air Canada, and aviation analysts for some comments.

In the marketplace, the CS-300 competes against Airbus’ A319neo and Boeing’s 737Max7.

Until Air Canada signed on, Bombardier had failed to secure a single order from any one of North America’s leading airlines. Last month, the C-Series lost out to Boeing on a 40-plane order from United Airlines.

Although the company does have orders from several leading international customers in Swiss and Korean Air.

The $82 million Bombardier CS-300 features seating for 160 passengers and is powered by a pair of Pratt & Whitney PW1500G engines.

The Canadian aeroplane maker has been fighting to recover from a tough 2015 in which the company was forced to write down $4.4 billion and take a $1.3 billion bailout.

Bombardier also announced today that will layoff 7,000 employees over the next two years. According to the CBC, the layoffs will affect the company’s commercial aerospace division which produces the C-Series.

Air Canada will take delivery of its new C-Series fleet in late 2019 to replace the airline’s current fleet of Embraer E-190 jets.

NOW WATCH: EXCLUSIVE: Hugh Hefner’s son speaks out against Playboy’s decisions to go non-nude and sell the Mansion

Business Insider Emails & Alerts

Site highlights each day to your inbox.

Follow Business Insider Australia on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram.