Bombardier has not secured a new order for its 110/130-seat CSeries twinjet since Republic Airways Holdings signed a deal for 40 aircraft in February 2010, but the company is extremely confident it will tally up sizeable new orders this year.
Speaking to ATI at the recent International Society of Transport Aircraft Trading (ISTAT) conference in Scottsdale, Arizona, Bombardier Commercial Aircraft president Gary Scott said the Canadian airfrmer doesn't align its orders with air shows, and as such will not vow to announce a deal at the Paris air show. However, he says: "We are in very advanced discussions with customers so I anticipate orders very soon."
"It could happen before the [Paris] air show. It could happen at the air show. It could happen after. But you will see significant orders this year," he adds.
To date, Bombardier has secured 90 firm orders plus 90 options with a total three customers. Scott believes the Canadian airframer can secure at least 300 orders for the CSeries before its 2013 service entry.
Lessors, which could acquire as much as half of all CSeries orders, are paying close attention to the CSeries' progression.
Steven Udvar-Hazy, the most prominent figure in the aircraft leasing community, says he believes the Pratt & Whitney geared turbofan-powered CSeries is "a great design" and is hopeful that Bombardier succeeds. But, he says, it's time for Bombardier to show some new orders.
In a good-natured jab at his friend Gary Scott, Hazy told ISTAT delegates that if he were Scott, "I wouldn't be at this conference. I'd be out selling the airplane."