RAA 2015: Bombardier still bullish on CRJ

Bombardier Commercial Aircraft kicked off the RAA 40th Anniversary Convention with new president Fred Cromer leading his first press conference since taking up the role and declaring that the CRJ family will continue to be developed further between now and 2020.

VP sales, Kevin Smith, backed up Cromer’s comments explaining that the company expects to gain a further decrease of 5%-6% in total operating costs in the family through changes to the airframe. At present, the CRJ900 is the leading member of the family in terms of recent orders garnered, but Smith noted that pilot union scope clauses in the USA, which restrict regional airlines to using aircraft with a maximum takeoff weight (MTOW) of 86,000 lb and 76 seats seem likely to change to higher parameters. “And when that happens we have the CRJ1000 ready for the airlines,” he declared.

On the support side of the business, Todd Young, VP customer services, reported that his team is looking forward to 2016 and supporting the entry into service of the CS100 with Swiss. “We’ve got a good roadmap for customer service activities, including our new CRC (customer response centre),” he explained.

Young then announced that the company had sign a deal with Pratt & Whitney for the latter to provide a data management service for the CSeries’ Aircraft Health Management System (AHMS). The system enables remote troubleshooting and delivers diagnostics for use by maintenance and flight crews.

Pratt & Whitney's eFAST system will be the infrastructure unit used to perform data transmissions from the aircraft's onboard Health Management Unit (HMU) to the ground. Along with Bombardier, they will make up the data acquisition structure which will automatically download, process and store data that will be available for upload to respective customer portals.

Young concluded by reporting progress with the Extended Service Programme (ESP) for each of the Dash 8/Q-100 and Dash 8/Q-300 aircraft, designed to extend the life cycle limit of each aircraft from 80,000 to 120,000.

For the former, Norwegian carrier Widerøe – which was the launch customer for the ESP on the Dash 8-100 – has just completed its 16th aircraft. The airline’s first aircraft to complete its ESP upgrade has now completed around 90,000 cycles.

Earlier this year, Canadian regional Jazz Air signed up to launch the ESP on the Q300.

Bernie Baldwin, editor, Low-Fare & Regional Airlines/LARAnews.net
Cleveland, Ohio, USA

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