OTTAWA (Reuters) - Boeing Co <BA.N>, which is locked in a dispute with the Canadian government, said on Friday it would continue to look for ways to work with the country, which is expected next week to announce it is scrapping plans to buy 18 of the U.S. planemaker's Super Hornet fighter jets.
Acknowledging media reports earlier this week that Canada would instead buy a used fleet of older F-18 jets from Australia, Boeing said it "respects" the government's decision, noting this meant the country would continue to use a two-engine fighter plane like the Super Hornet.
That suggests Boeing thinks it might still be in the running when Canada starts an open competition for a permanent fleet to replace the country's aging CF-18 jets. The Liberal government is expected to announce the requirements in early 2019.
Canada said late last year that it wanted to buy the Boeing jets as an interim measure, before the larger competition. But the proposed deal began to unravel after Boeing filed a trade challenge against Canadian planemaker Bombardier Inc <BBDb.TO>.
Boeing reiterated on Friday that Canada would miss out on the industrial partnerships and jobs that purchasing the company's Super Hornets would bring but that it would look to work with the country in the future.
The company says its commercial and defense operations in Canada support more than 17,000 jobs there.
"We will continue to support all efforts to build an environment of free and fair competition marked by compliance with agreed-upon rules," Boeing said in a statement.
(Reporting by Leah Schnurr and David Ljunggren; Editing by Lisa Von Ahn)