The recent announcement of a big order for Embraer came from Republic. That airline has also been noted as saying it is looking at placing more orders with top manufacturers. Some articles suggested this came as a blow to Bombardier. It's hard not to wonder if the people putting this suggestion out are aware Republic already has a large order in to Bombardier.
Actually, Republic appears to be willing to put a wide range of aircraft in its fleet. This might seem like a mistake when many airlines are trying to emulate the success of leading Low-cost carriers like Southwest. One of the main reasons Southwest has been able to keep its passenger seat-mile costs lower is a result of that company's decision to go with a single fleet type - the Boeing 737.
A single aircraft type enables Southwest to minimize training, maintenence and parts costs. However, not all airlines can do this since some routes require aircraft more optimallysuited for range, climate, and terrain etc...
And some airlines see their flexibility in this respect as a bargaining chip. Republic, appears to want concessions with respect to how many of its older RJs a manufacturer is willing to take back as part of the deal. Of course, most manufacturers don't see themselves in the business of buying and selling older aircraft, but will sometimes go this route in order to secure a deal.
The point is there are usually a lot of moving parts to any commercial aircraft order, (and a similar phenomenon) exists in rail).
Winning the order isn't always everything. Sometimes manufacturers cut profits too close to the bone in an effort to beat out a competitor only to find that cost rise over the duration of the production and delivery process cutting profits so thinly that rising costs, and or some external negative could easily tip earnings into losses.
All we investors see is this manufacturer or that one "won" a large order. What we can't see is how far the manufacturer was willing to discount the "listed prices", We don't know how effectively the manufacturer can keep its, or its suppliers costs from rising out of line with expectations.
We only have to look at the Boeing 787 to see a situation where costs per unit are probably rising more than was generally expected by the manufacturer when the pricing was negotiated for its 800 + backlog.(we can probably assume some of its first and largest orders ie the JAL order, was somewhere close to breakeven - which would probably mean those orders will now go out as a loss).
By the way, if anyone thinks Bombardier isn't putting batteries similar to the ones giving Boeing problems, they might want to dig a little deeper. Yes these are the same ones which resulted in fires starting in laptops. They generate a lot of power for the size and that's what manufacturers want for new aircraft trying to wring out every possible ounce in the name of greater fuel efficiency.
Another consideration Another good thing about your only major competitor in RJs fattening up his order book is that it pushes out the time it takes him to deliver. All things remaining equal, it means he now can't offer more competitive delivery dates without raising his rate of production.
Most manufacturers hesitate to do this too quickly because it can leave them holding the bag if/when things go into a downturn (as we all know cyclicals do that sometimes). It requires investment in employees, employee training, facilities, new suppliers etc.. It isn't as easy as it might seem. Raises risks and costs.
Bombardier not getting an order can be an indication it simply wasn't as desperate as its competitor to offer the same magnitude of discount.
Usually these things are complicated and can involve elaborate negotiations by teams of sales reps from each respective company.
It's important to see these things in the context of the size of respective backlogs, and the kinds of margins per unit of each competitor: