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Bombardier confident in new CSeries schedule

posted Nov 17, 2012, 1:54 AM by Michael Adams
Bombardier has a “high degree of confidence” it will be able to stick to its revised schedule for the CSeries, a company official said.
The Canadian manufacturer this month postponed entry into service (EIS) of the CSeries from late 2013 to around the end of June 2014, and also pushed back first flight by six months to the end of June 2013 . Bombardier VP-marketing-commercial aircraft Philippe Poutissou said the delay was necessary to ensure all suppliers were operating on a “harmonized” schedule.
“When you try to bring an aircraft to first flight, a number of critical paths have to converge,” he explained, declining to say which supplier or suppliers were found to need more time. “We need to do it right,” he said, adding that the aircraft’s customers “understand” the delay and are “supportive of our [revised] plan.”
He pointed out that while the 110-seat CS100 has been delayed, the 130-seat CS300 remains on track for a late 2014 EIS as planned. Bombardier now has 138 firm orders for the CSeries with letters-of-intent, options and purchase rights for another 214. Nine customers have made firm commitments for the CSeries.
“We’re sold out for the first few years” of the program, Poutissou said. “We’re looking at 2016 availability” for new orders.
He said the fact that Boeing and Airbus are now well into developing and marketing the re-engined versions of their narrowbodies should help CSeries sales going forward. “What’s different now is that you now have a clear landscape [for the narrowbody sector] and carriers know the CSeries is the one all-new aircraft coming to market,” he commented.