Launch customer airBaltic has successfully debuted the Bombardier CS300 on its Riga-Amsterdam service. The first commercial flight of the type carried 120 passengers, including local media.
CEO Martin Gauss said: “airBaltic has been counting down the days to this landmark moment. During its maiden commercial flight today, the CS300 aircraft performed beyond our expectations and offered a new level of travel experience for our customers. We look forward to serving many communities across Western Europe and the Eastern markets with the CS300 aircraft – the largest variant in the world’s most efficient and environmentally friendly family of airliners.”
The Riga-based carrier has ordered 20 CS300s which it is operating in a 145-seat, two-class configuration.
Fred Cromer, President, Bombardier Commercial Aircraft, said: “The CS300 aircraft’s entry-into-service also confirms Bombardier’s successful execution on our commitment to deliver the only all-new family of single-aisle airliners in the 100- to 150-seat market in 30 years.”
Rob Dewar, Vice President, C Series Aircraft Program, Bombardier Commercial Aircraft, added: “Today’s commercial flight highlights the remarkable journey between airBaltic and Bombardier as the CS300 aircraft is brought to market. We salute airBaltic, our employees, suppliers and industry stakeholders for their steadfast loyalty to the success of the C Series aircraft program.”
Philippine Airlines will be the launch customer for the two-class 86-seat variant of Bombardier’s Q400 turboprop.
A firm order for five aircraft and purchase rights for an additional seven was finalised on December 8. The deal follows a letter of intent signed in October and is valued at $165m, rising to $401m if all purchase rights are exercised.
“As we strive to become a top-rated airline, the Q Series family of aircraft has enabled us to develop our business model into one which efficiently meets our domestic route requirements while providing our passengers with a full service on board experience”, said Jaime J Bautista, President and Chief Operating Officer, Philippine Airlines. “We are proud of our collaboration with Bombardier and welcome the first modern and innovatively configured two-class, 86-seat Q400 aircraft to our growing fleet.”
Deliveries of the five aircraft will take place throughout 2017.
Fred Cromer, President, Bombardier Commercial Aircraft, added: “With the lowest seat-mile costs in the regional aircraft market, the extra-capacity, two-class Q400 aircraft will offer Philippine Airlines significant opportunities to differentiate itself competitively. The Q400 aircraft is the ideal solution for the airline as it develops its domestic operations network from secondary hubs and increases intra-island connectivity.”
Industrial Bank Financial Leasing has been revealed as the customer behind a previously undisclosed order for ten Bombardier CRJ900 regional jets. The Beijing-based bank initially placed the order on June 20, and the two parties are now working on exploring market opportunities for regional fleet growth. The firm order is valued at approximately $472m.
Delays in the suuply of Pratt & Whitney’s PurePower PW1500G engine have led Bombardier to revise its C Series delivery schedule.
The Canadian manufacturer had planned to hand over 15 aircraft by the end of the year but this has been adjusted to seven.
“The C Series engine is performing very well in service. We are working very closely with Pratt & Whitney to quickly address this supplier ramp-up issue and to ensure we have a strong supplier base to support our long-term growth objectives,” explained Fred Cromer, President, Bombardier Commercial Aircraft. “We are very confident in our production ramp-up plan, including our ability to meet our production goal of 90 to 120 aircraft per year by 2020.”
Bombardier has handed over two CS100s to Swiss with a third due for delivery next month. The manufacturer says the first example of the larger CS300 remains on track to be delivered to launch operator airBaltic in the fourth quarter.
The two aircraft in service with Swiss have flown nearly 400 revenue flights, totalling almost 600 flight hours, and Cromer says their performance has been good.
“We are very pleased with the performance of the C Series during its entry-into-service with our launch customer Swiss,” he revealed. “The aircraft is meeting all expectations and clearly demonstrating that it is the best performing and most efficient aircraft in the 100- to 150-seat class.”
Last week, Bombardier confirmed that it had received the second and final $500m instalment of the Government of Québec’s investment in the C Series programme.
Long-term Bombardier customer Porter Airlines signed a deal for three additional Q400 turboprops on day two of the Farnborough International Airshow.
The value of the firm order is approximately $93m and will increase the all-Q400 operator’s fleet to 29 aircraft. The first two airframes are scheduled to join the Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport-based carrier in December.
“The Toronto-built Bombardier Q400 aircraft is everything you could ask for in a turboprop,” said Robert Deluce, President and Chief Executive Officer of Porter Airlines. “It is an important component of our award-winning customer experience. The combination of operating efficiency, speed, very low noise levels inside and out, and excellent passenger appeal are unbeatable.”
Fred Cromer, President, Bombardier Commercial Aircraft, added: “Porter Airlines and the Q400 aircraft are providing access to a very convenient airport close to downtown Toronto, akin to that of London City Airport in the UK, and the growth in passenger traffic reflects that. The aircraft’s low noise levels on take-off and approach make it a good-neighbour aircraft for the downtown, while its operating economics make it a very valuable asset for an airline.”
Speaking to journalists at the signing ceremony, Deluce confirmed that Porter’s deposits remained in place for the airline’s CS100 order but declined to elaborate on the progress of that deal.
For the third consecutive year, Porter was named the Best Regional Airline in North America at the 2016 Skytrax World Airline Awards. Deluce said: “Three years in a row is a significant accomplishment. The commitment of our entire team to providing the highest level of service to our passengers is what helps us stay at this consistently high level. I believe that the service aspect of our value proposition sets us apart, and being recognised as North America’s best regional airline is a true representation of this.”
Montreal-based manufacturer Bombardier has agreed a deal to sell 10 CRJ900 jets to an undisclosed customer. Based on list prices, the firm order is valued at $472m.
Fred Cromer, President, Bombardier Commercial Aircraft, said: “The modern and fuel efficient CRJ900 aircraft continues to maintain its solid footing and set industry benchmarks with its lower operating costs, outstanding operational flexibility and enhanced cabin amenities.
“These are key drivers for the growth, profitability and success of airlines around the world and we are delighted that the CRJ900 aircraft is creating excellent value for a wide variety of operators with diverse business requirements.”