Posted on: 13 November 2011 by Ross McSweeny
As he showed off the aircraft’s new flight deck, Bombardier Aerospace president and COO, Guy Hachey, declared that the company’s CSeries family is still on target to meet its planned entry into service at the end of 2013, although he admitted that some of the spare time built into the 63-month programme has already been used up.
“The news from Brazil [about Embraer not planning to build a new aircraft family larger than the current E-Jets] reinforces that we’re the only company not re-engining or stretching in this market segment,” Hachey added.
Hachey was accompanied at the flight deck unveiling by Chet Fuller, SVP sales, marketing and asset management, Bombardier Commercial Aircraft, who highlighted the design based on the Rockwell Collins Pro Line Fusion 4 suite and featuring five large 15.1 inch liquid crystal display (LCD) screens plus electronic flight bags (EFBs) and head-up displays (HUDs). The LCD screens are capable of enhanced and synthetic vision future upgrades.
“Additionally,” remarked Fuller, “the CSeries cabin is bigger in terms of seat width, overhead bins and height than anything in its class. In fact we think the CSeries is going to be the best in class for the next 10 years at least.”
Hachey concurred with his colleague, commenting, “While the A320neo and 737 MAX families have certainly cut the CSeries advantage, we still have double digit percentage cash operating cost (COC) advantage over the A319neo (a 12% better fuel burn and around 14% COC) and the 737 MAX 7. We have 262 commitments in firm orders, options and purchase rights for the family and we’re aiming for 300 firm orders by entry into service.”
Asked if the orders for the new Airbus and Boeing products encouraged him or made him wonder if Bombardier had “backed the wrong horse”, Hachey replied, “I’m very happy, because we’ll be the only all-new aircraft for about the next 10 years. ”
A key upcoming milestone in the programme with be the full operation of the Complete Integrated Aircraft Systems Test Area (CIASTA) early next year, which both executives believe will help keep the programme on time. Fuller acknowledged, however, that “at this point in the programme there are different things hitting the critical path and we cannot predict what might cause problems”.
On other programmes, Fuller announced the first CRJ900 customer in the Middle East region – Petroleum Air Services which has ordered one aircraft for first quarter 2012 delivery with one option.
Hachey confirmed that Bombardier Commercial Aircraft will deliver approximately 90 commercial aircraft during this calendar year, having announced earlier this year a slowdown in CRJ and Q400 production.
Asked why ATR had such a lead in orders this year, Hachey replied that the Franco-Italian airframer had been doing better in markets where the mission suited the ATR family better. He also admitted, “We weren’t as present in the emerging markets but that’s going to change.”
Photo shows Guy Hachey (right), president and COO, Bombardier Aerospace and Chet Fuller, SVP sales, marketing and asset management, Bombardier Commercial Aircraft, answering questions on board the CSeries cabin mock-up in Dubai.
Bernie Baldwin, editor, Low-Fare & Regional Airlines/LARAnews.net