Air Senegal is close to securing a preliminary order for eight Airbus SE A220-300 narrow-body jets, valued at about $732 million at list prices, according to people familiar with the matter.
The so-called memorandum of understanding would be subject to a final contract, the people said, asking not to be named discussing non-public negotiations. No agreement has been reached and talks could break down, the people said.
The new planes would advance state-owned Air Senegal’s goal of building a regional hub near Dakar, the African nation’s capital. The new national airline replaced Senegal Airlines, which was closed by the government in 2016 after taking on too much debt.
Airbus purchased the A220 program last year from Canada’s Bombardier Inc., and had an order backlog that stood at 436 planes as of October. The A220-300, which can seat up to 145 passengers, is smaller than Airbus’s flagship A320neo narrow-body, which seats up to 180.
Airlines typically negotiate substantial discounts to the list prices of planes sold by Airbus and its U.S. rival Boeing Co.
Air Senegal Chief Executive Officer Ibrahima Kane, reached by phone, had no immediate comment.