Bombardier’s clean-sheet CSeries has completed its maiden commercial flight with launch customer Swiss.
The CS100, registration HB-JBA, operated flight LX638 on Friday (European time), taking off from Zurich at 1230 and touching down at Paris Charles de Gaulle about two hours later.
Swiss has named the aircraft Kanton Zurich.
There were celebrations at Zurich airport to mark the occasion, while all passengers on the inaugural flight were presented with special certificates.
“I am extremely proud that we are the first airline in the world to put this totally newly-developed aircraft into service,” Swiss chief commercial officer Markus Binkert said in a statement.
“The Bombardier CS100 is a class act in every respect: comfort, economics and environmental credentials. And its service entry today ushers in a new era in short- and medium-haul air travel, for our customers in particular.”
Airways Magazine tweeted some photographs from on board the inaugural flight:
— AirwaysLive (@airwayslive) July 15, 2016
And in addition to her ribbon-cutting duties, Miss Switzerland 2013 Dominique Rinderknecht was also handing out gifts to those on board
— Swiss Intl Air Lines (@FlySWISS) July 15, 2016
The aircraft was delivered to Swiss at the end of June.
Swiss has firm orders for 15 CS100s, with options for a further 30 of the type. The Lufthansa subsidiary also has orders for 15 of the larger CS300.
The aircraft is planned to replace Swiss’s Avro RJ100 fleet, as well as for future growth.
Swiss said Paris (Charles de Gaulle), Manchester, Prague and Budapest would be among the first destinations to receive flights operated by the CS100, with Warsaw, Brussels, Nice, Stuttgart, Hanover, Milan, Florence and Bucharest to follow in August and September.
“Further points currently served with Avro RJ100 equipment will switch to C Series operation with each successive delivery. The Zurich-London City route is scheduled to change to C Series service in the first quarter of next year,” Swiss said.
The CS100 is designed to seat 110 passengers in a single-class configuration, while the larger CS300 can carry 135 passengers, based on 32in seat pitch. Swiss has configured its CS100 with 125 all-economy class seats pitched at 30in.
Powered by Pratt & Whitney’s PW1500G geared turbofan, the CSeries competes for the lower end of the narrowbody market alongside the Embraer E2 and Mitsubishi Regional Jet, and to a lesser degree designs from Sukhoi and COMAC.
Bombardier Commercial Aircraft president Fred Cromer congratulated Swiss on the entry-into-service of the CS100 and described the event as a “fitting culmination” to the Farnborough Airshow, where it was announced Transport Canada has awarded type certification to the larger CS300.
The first delivery of the CS300 to launch customer airBaltic is due to take place in the fourth quarter of 2016.
“During the show, we connected with senior airline and aviation industry executives from around the world and are very encouraged by the feedback we are getting on our new C Series aircraft product positioning that urges airlines to put aside decades-old aircraft design in favour of an all-new, technically-advanced aircraft aimed specifically at the single-aisle, 100- to 150-seat market,” Cromer said in a statement.
“We’re giving airlines the freedom to match demand with a right-sized aircraft that provides the opportunity to make more profit.”
(Read more about the CSeries in the July edition of Australian Aviation magazine, on sale now.)