© Ryan Remiorz Two U.S.-based airlines have asked U.S. authorities to reject Boeing's complaint about Bombardier.
Two U.S.-based airlines have decided to make themselves heard in the dispute between Boeing and Bombardier by asking U.S. authorities to reject the complaint from the Chicago-based giant.
According to Spirit Airlines and Sun Country Airlines, Boeing’s punitive duties on C Series sales in the United States are a barrier to innovation and competition in the civil aviation industry.
The two low-cost carriers shared their arguments by sending separate letters to the U.S. International Trade Commission and the Commerce Department last month.
“Spirit believes (Boeing’s complaint) is an inappropriate way to block the entry of Bombardier’s C Series into the U.S. market,” wrote its chief financial officer Edward Christie.
For the moment, the 112 aircraft operated by the Miramar, Florida carrier are Airbus. This did not prevent the company from extolling the effectiveness of the C Series, which is in keeping with Spirit’s objective of reducing expenses and lowering ticket prices.
Christie wrote that if Spirit were to buy aircraft capable of carrying 100 to 140 passengers, Airbus and Boeing would not be considered, as the airplane makers do not offer aircraft of this size.
“If Boeing’s complaint prevails, Spirit will be deprived of access (to a program) that would provide significant benefits to U.S. travellers,” read his letter.
In his Jude Bricker of Sun Country Airlines — which operates 22 Boeing aircraft — uses some of the same arguments.
Bricker, president and CEO of the Minnesota-based carrier, added that airlines need access to a wide range of single-aisle aircraft — such as the C Series.
“We believe that American travellers have the right to access the benefits of all (aircraft types), whether they are from Boeing, Airbus, Bombardier, Embraer or any other aircraft manufacturer,” he wrote.
According to Bricker, the punitive measures claimed by Boeing would amount to a “tax for American travellers” and could result in an increase in the price of certain tickets.
The Department of Commerce is expected to announce Sept. 25 whether or not it will impose punitive measures against Bombardier.
Affirming that the Quebec aircraft manufacturer received unfair subsidies to develop the C Series, Boeing applied for a countervailing duty of at least 79.41 per cent and an anti-dumping duty of 79.82 per cent on sales of this commercial aircraft south of the border.
By email, Boeing indicated that it did not wish to comment on letters sent to U.S. authorities by Spirit and Sun Country.
Bryan Tucker, a spokesman for Bombardier, said it was “not surprising to see airlines show up to promote competition.”
The tone of this trade dispute rose a notch this week after the president of the international division of Boeing said that the company had no intention to withdraw its complaint.
Shortly thereafter, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau lambasted Boeing in an appeal to the Governor of Missouri, the state where the U.S. aeronautical giant builds its Super Hornet fighters. Ottawa threatened to abandon its multi-billion-dollar interim buying plan for 18 Super Hornet combat aircraft.
At the end of August, six Senators and members of the House of Representatives of the states of Kansas and West Virginia had written to American authorities to remind them not to neglect the economic impact of the Quebec aircraft manufacturer south of border.