ERA 2015: Bombardier lauds CityJet deal; CSeries on track

Despite much-reported tribulations, Bombardier Commercial Aircraft came to Berlin in bullish mood, with Ryan de Brusk (pictured), VP sales–Europe, Middle East, Africa, Russia and CIS, celebrating the recent order from CityJet for eight firm CRJ900s which will be operated on behalf of SAS.

Before calling on CityJet executive chairman Pat Byrne to provide insight into the order, de Brusk declared that the company remains committed to all three products in the CRJ family. “We’ve made a number of enhancements over the last few years and we’re achieving 99.5%+ dispatch reliability.”

Byrne began with a reminder that his airline’s business model involves a high level of partner work (60% wet lease operations and 40% own brand) within Europe, then moved onto the deal.

“The SAS request for proposals (RFP) drew 17 respondents and we were selected. It was the fastest process I’ve ever witnessed and probably the fastest aircraft acquisition deal ever done,” Byrne reported.

“SAS were very specific – 88 seats were requested and a high dispatch reliability,” he continued. “The dispatch reliability penalties were high so they could kill you if the DR is bad. But the CRJ900 is a bullet-proof platform.

“During the process, we came up with the idea of 90 seats and Bombardier came back to confirm within about 3 hours. SAS agreed, so 90 seats it is,” Byrne confirmed.

de Brusk turned to the Q400, noting that its backlog is better than it has been for some years. “We’ve had a couple of milestones recently; first, reaching the 500th order for the aircraft and then launching the first cargo-combi with Ryuku Air Commuter of Japan, which will take delivery of the first cargo-combi soon,” he remarked.

Joining the Q400 operator family soon will be Aeroflot subsidiary Aurora, de Brusk announced. “It will be starting Q400 operations in the far-east of Russia by the end of 2015. They’ll introduce five Q400s with a plan to take 10 more.”

Ross Mitchell, Bombardier Commercial Aircraft’s VP business acquisition, gave quick CSeries update and reported that the certification programme is now more than 90% complete. “All of high risk flight testing has been done. We’re now doing function and reliability testing,” he said. “There have been more than 3,000 flight hours performed on the CS100 and CS300 and certification remains on track for end of 2015.”

Bernie Baldwin, editor, Low-Fare & Regional Airlines/
Berlin, Germany

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