Bombardier's much anticipated CSeries plane has reached 177 firm orders after the Canadian manufacturer said that a previously announced deal with Ilyushin Finance won backing from the Russian company's investors.IFC's shareholders approved the order for 32 CS300 with an option for an additional 10, Bombardier said on Tuesday. The Russian aircraft leasing company's conditional order was first announced in February.Bombardier's new family of narrow-body, twin-engine, medium-range jets is the company's challenge to industry leaders Boeing and Airbus. Industry anticipation has been building ahead of its first flight, expected at the end of June.IFC's firm order is valued at around USD$2.56 billion at list price, the company said, and including the additional 10, the contract value is about USD$3.42 billion.Bombardier, the world's fourth-largest commercial plane maker, said this week it would use the Paris air show in mid-June to unveil a previously undisclosed customer and could add new business.With IFC's order approval, Bombardier has passed the halfway mark of its goal for 300 firm orders by mid-2014.The aviation industry is keen to see how the CSeries will do and airlines are awaiting the plane's first flight to see whether its technology and efficiency claims hold up.Earlier on Tuesday, Bombardier announced that Gulf Air, the national carrier of Bahrain, is the previously undisclosed airline that ordered up to 16 CSeries jets.The order for 10 of the 110-seat CS100 aircraft, with options for another six, was first announced in June 2011, the company said. Source: Reuters
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