Montreal - Bombardier took another important step in its C Series program on Friday, December 22, by delivering its first-ever CS300 jetliner to Korean Air, its launch customer in Asia.
Based in Seoul, South Korea, Korean Air has taken possession of its first CS300 ordered in 2011 and is expected to receive another one by the end of the year.
Korean Air made a firm order for 10 CS300 aircraft, which includes options for an additional 10 aircraft and purchase rights for another 10 aircraft.
Bombardier had a year of ups and downs and would have liked to produce more aircraft. Quebec-based Canadian manufacturer delivered about twenty aircraft in 2017, which is less than previously planned, mainly because of supply problems from the engine manufacturer Pratt & Whitney.
Since the first deliveries of CS100 and CS300 in the summer of 2016, Bombardier has delivered 23 aircraft from its C Series program. 8 of these devices were CS100s and 15 were CS300s.
In just 18 months, 2.5 million passengers traveled on C Series aircraft, according to Bombardier.
The Asian market is certainly in the line of sight of the C Series, while it is estimated that carriers of this continent will need in 20 years of nearly 2900 small single-aisle aircraft like those manufactured in Quebec by Bombardier.
The company's order book remains well stocked with 341 aircraft, but the conflict with Boeing and the US Department of Commerce darkens the picture.
On December 20, Washington gave a victory on the whole line to Boeing, who accused Bombardier of selling its C Series aircraft at "derisory" prices. A punitive tariff of 292% will be applied to each aircraft sold by the Quebec company to Delta Air Lines.
On December 22, Boeing and Embraer confirmed that they are in talks on a merger of their operations, in a terse statement in Portuguese and English.