CSeries: The turbulent journey of a pretty good plane
Montreal - Bombardier will deliver 40 CS100 and CS300 next year. That would be a smooth doubling compared to 2017, but still less than originally planned.
After two years of delay and 6 billion development cost, which surpassed the expectations, Bombardier had hoped an unproblematic run-up at least.
But Pratt & Whitney lag behind with the provision of engines. The management of the Canadian manufacturer warned shareholders that the target of 45 to 55 CSeries delivery was not sustainable.
That wasn't the only misfortune who blasted on the CSeries in 2017. The company signed a contract with Delta for the delivery of 75 CS100, but a hot trade dispute between the US and Canada blocked the agreement. The allegation was that Bombardier had used state aid to dump the prices of CSeries for Delta.
The confrontation ended up with 292% punitive tariff decision by US Department of Commerce for every CSeries to be imported from Canada.
Of necessity, Bombardier handed over the majority stake of the program to Airbus in October. The European manufacturer sees great potential in the CS100 and CS300.
2000 airplanes are quite realistic,said Fabrice Brégier, the outgoing president and chief operating officer of Airbus.
If we go into this battle, it's not to sell a few hundred planes and then stop,he added.
New orders at the end of the year
Coincidence or not, right after the entry of Airbus, the orders jumped again. Bombardier announced an agreement with an airline from Europe for 31 CSeries with 30 more options. The Dubai Airshow was also followed by an order for 12 CS300 from Egyptair.
Many airlines have just rediscovered the potential of 100-seaters. There has been no real innovation for a very long time,said Patrick Baudis at the Dubai Air Show, the head of marketing at Bombardier. Most of the customer inquiries are listed by Bombardier for the CS100.
The current operators Swiss and Air Baltic give the CSeries a good report.
Reliability and fuel consumption of the aircraft beat expectations,said Air Baltic CEO Martin Gauss. Meanwhile, the Riga-based airline is even planning a standardization of its fleet with the CSeries.
The transformation would begin in 2020 and must be completed by 2023,added the Air Baltic's CEO.
CSeries meets Embraer E2
Orders and customer praise encourage Bombardier for the contention with competitor Embraer, who will deliver the first next-gen variants of its E2 series in 2018.
Next year in April, Embraer will deliver the first E190-E2 jet to the regional airline operator Wideroe from Norway.
Boeing looks ways for a merger with Bombardier to better compete against Airbus-Bombardier alliance.