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Delta stands firm: It wants disputed jets, says it won't pay 300% tariff

Key Points
  • Delta says it looks forward to taking delivery of C Series jets.
  • Airbus agreed to take a majority stake in the Bombardier C Series program.
  • The deal pits Airbus more closely against rival Boeing.
Bombardier's C Series aircrafts are assembled in their plant in Mirabel, Quebec, Canada April 29, 2016.
Christinne Muschi | Reuters

Delta Air Lines says it will still take delivery of a disputed Canadian passenger jet after European giant Airbus took a stake in the program.

The airline has been in the crosshairs in a trade conflict in which U.S. aerospace giant Boeing accused Canadian rival Bombardier of selling its new C Series planes to Delta below the cost of production.

The U.S. Commerce Department sided with Boeing and recommended a duty of 300 percent on the some 100-seat C Series planes.

Airbus late Monday announced it agreed to take a majority stake in the imperiled Bombardier jet program.

Delta told investors on an earnings call last week that it "would not pay those tariffs " and after the Airbus deal said it still "looked forward" to taking delivery of the C Series jets. It declined to comment further on the deal Tuesday.

Delta, which has also been an important Boeing customer over the years, argued that Boeing no longer produces a similar product to the Bombardier jets.

The backing by Airbus, which produces the world's biggest passenger jet, the Airbus A380, even more closely pits the European plane-maker against Boeing.

Delta is unveiling its new Airbus A350, a widebody plane it intends to fly from the U.S. to Asia, on Tuesday. The twin-aisle plane is coming into service as Delta phases out its last Boeing 747s, the four-engine plane that some airlines have ditched in favor of more fuel-efficient twin-engine planes.

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