Fresh from ending a 15 month drought on CSeries orders with a pledge by Braathens Leasing for 10 aircraft, Bombardier believes the "tailwinds are in its favour" in capturing more customers.
Bombardier Aerospace president Guy Hachey supplied that assessment during a 1 June earnings call, noting that the history of aircraft order intake shows a "knee curve" occurring two-and-a-half to two years prior to entry into service (EIS) when order intake begins to ramp up.
Noting the CS100 is two-and-a-half-years from EIS, with the CS300 following a year later, Hachey said: " I believe you will see that happening with us, especially now that the economy is a bit better."
However, he cautioned the order stream "could be lumpy, It could happen that we have three or four in a row and then we may be a few months without. But I would say that it will escalate nicely to sometime before EIS", and Bombardier should be close to reaching its goal of achieving 300 orders by service entry.
Hachey also assured Bombardier definitely has "people that are interested" in early CSeries delivery positions. "We are not too concerned about those particular positions. It is a matter of who it will be and whether we can actually talk about it," he said. "But we made progress." "We have limited positions on our skyline," said Hachey. "And the customers that really want to be up front are seeing that."
He characterised two different tranches of CSeries customers. In the first group, the "transactions are very far along, where there is just a few things to iron out".
Hachey outlined a "secondary handful of customers that are progressing well as well. Somewhere between seven and 10 customers of which are much further along, we're getting down to negotiating LOIs [letters of intent]".
The airframer appears to holding firm to pricing in those negotiations. Noting that when an aircraft is being launched "you're not getting the same pricing as an established product", Hachey declared: "We are not doing anything wild or crazy in terms of pricing."
Bombardier has not declared an exact annual production rate for the CSeries. Hachey stated the second year of production will double the first and almost double in the third year.
Noting that is sort of "how the curve looks like", Hachey stated: "We are thinking today of building between 100 and 120 a year. However, it is not out of the realm of possibility that it could be up to 200, 250."
Asked about Boeing and Embraer dragging their feet in firming decisions for new aircraft in the narrowbody sector Hachey stated: "I don't know what Boeing is going to be doing. And I am not sure what Embraer is going to do. They seem to be waiting to see what Boeing is going to do. So the longer it stretches out, the later they will come to market."