Delta will not pay U.S. duties on Bombardier jets

Bombardier CS100 Delta: nbsp;© Provided by Business Insider Inc

Delta Air Lines Inc. pledged not to pay import duties on Bombardier Inc.’s marquee jetliner, which was socked in the last two weeks with 300 percent tariffs by the U.S. Commerce Department.

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It’s possible Delta will delay deliveries of the C Series planes, which are scheduled to begin next year, Chief Executive Officer Ed Bastian said Wednesday. The airline is also considering “various other plans” if the preliminary duties are finalized, he said without elaborating. Delta last year agreed to buy at least 75 of the jets at a list price of more than $5 billion.

“We will not pay those tariffs, and that is very clear,” Bastian said on a conference call after reporting third-quarter results. “We intend to take the aircraft.”

Delta’s determination not to pay the import charges raised the stakes in a dispute pitting Montreal-based Bombardier against Boeing Co., which accused its Canadian rival of selling the C Series at “absurdly low prices.” Boeing won support from President Donald Trump’s administration, which ruled that Bombardier sold the planes at less than their fair market value after benefiting from government subsidies in Canada.

Bombardier jumped 6.8 percent to C$2.35 at the close in Toronto, the biggest gain in five months. Delta advanced less than 1 percent to $53.07.