Bombardier reiterates forecast in face of China statement

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Bombardier is staying mum about whether it expects China's plan to slow capacity growth to impact the Canadian firm, but reiterates that its forecast sees the region accounting for 15% of the global aircraft market in the next 20 years.

The Canadian airframer has been in order talks with Chinese carriers, notably for its 110/130-seat CSeries aircraft.

"We intend to continue working with airlines and their governing bodies to secure firm aircraft orders in China," a Bombardier spokesman tells ATI.

He adds: "Our forecast maintains that China will account for 15% of the global aircraft market in the next 20 years. We are engaged in active discussions with potential Chinese prospects for all our aircraft types."

The Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC) yesterday confirmed that the nation's airlines are being encouraged to postpone, or even cancel, deliveries of aircraft planned for next year. The CAAC also says it wants airlines to ground some aircraft, refrain from renewing some aircraft leases and accelerate the withdrawal of older aircraft.

The confirmation follows earlier reports that an order freeze on new aircraft had been issued in China until current overcapacity issues are resolved. Addressing those earlier reports on 4 December Bombardier president and chief executive Pierre Beaudoin noted that CSeries conversations with Chinese airlines will not be affected by "short-term situations".

Without addressing China specifically, Bombardier has warned generally of some order cancellations going forward due to difficulties in the marketplace, however.

Bombardier Aerospace president Guy Hachey says that in terms of the pace of aircraft cancellations and deferrals, "it is not a large percentage of our total backlog", although it is "something we expect to be slightly larger than in the past".

Mexican carrier Alma, which ceased operations last month, this year cancelled two CRJ units.