CSeries garners attention from commercial and business aviation

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Bombardier is relatively optimistic it will secure another CSeries order before the end of its fiscal year, and says it is also receiving a lot of attention from the business aviation community for a VIP version of the Pratt & Whitney geared turbofan-powered jetliner.

"There is a reasonable chance that we could announce another order before the end of the year," Bombardier Commercial Aircraft president Gary Scott said late last week in New York, where the Canadian airframer kicked off the first in a series of CSeries road shows.

To date, Bombardier has secured a total 100 CSeries commitments from both Lufthansa for its Swiss International Air Lines unit and Irish lessor LCI.

"We are in advanced discussions with several potential customers. It's always hard to say when they'll pull the trigger and say 'we're ready'," says Scott, who now believes that as many as 50% of all CSeries orders will be placed by lessors.

The company's fiscal year ends on 31 January.

Bombardier is also in discussions with potential customers for a VIP version of the 110/130-seat CSeries.

Scott says the firm has "always envisioned and planned that we'd have a BBJ - a Bombardier Business Jet" for the CSeries.

"It makes a very good VIP aircraft. We have not launched it, and have no orders for it, but we have a lot of interest for it. We will no doubt build one," adds the Bombardier executive.

He stresses, however, that such discussions about VIP aircraft are not distracting Bombardier from its focus on bringing the commercial CS100 and CS300 to market.

To ensure the commercial sector has confidence in the CSeries and its continued progress, Bombardier on 22 October began a CSeries road show in New York, where it presented details about the economic and environmental benefits of the aircraft to a wide cross-section of North American airlines, lessors and financiers.

Similar events are being planned for Asia, Europe and the Middle East.