Bombardier says that development of the CSeries is progressing well and that it has captured 50 per cent of the net orders in its class, although it appears unlikely that it will announce any new orders soon.
The Canadian manufacturer briefed media at the Farnborough Airshow on July 19, noting that ultimate load testing of the CSeries’ wing had been completed at Belfast, while aircraft systems testing on the Complete Integrated Aircraft Systems Test Area (CIASTA), located in Mirabel, Quebec, was progressing on schedule. Bombardier also said that it had conducted wind tunnel tests on the CSeries’ design at three centres in Europe which have confirmed the aircraft’s overall performance benefit. The aircraft is currently still on track to enter service in 2013.
Bombardier currently holds orders for 33 CS100s and 57 CS300s from Lufthansa, Lease Corporation International and Republic Airways, as well as options on a further 90 additional aircraft over both types. Bombardier has not announced any new orders for the CSeries since Republic placed its order for 40 CS300s and 40 options in February this year, but there is mounting speculation that Steven Udvar-Hazy’s Air Lease Corporation could order the aircraft, particularly as Udvar-Hazy has backed the CSeries in his previous role as CEO of ILFC.
Qatar Airways also confirmed at the airshow its continued interest in the CSeries, but a deal has not yet been concluded due to “issues”, according to CEO Akbar Al Baker, with engine manufacturer Pratt & Whitney. Separately, Reuters is reporting those issues relate to negotiating a support agreement for the engine.