Bombardier’s Board of Directors granted Bombardier Aerospace the authority to offer formal sales proposals of the optimized CSeries aircraft family to airline customers.
Authority to offer is the next important step in the process that leads to programme launch. Before requesting programme launch approval from the Bombardier Board of Directors, Bombardier Aerospace will obtain firm commitments from customers. A launch decision is expected in 2008. Entry into service is scheduled for 2013.
"Our decision to continue refining our business plan over the last two years has proven to be the right one. It has allowed us to take advantage of new technologies and to meet the airlines' evolving requirements for future efficient five-abreast aircraft. Airlines worldwide have expressed their keen interest to receive formal sales proposals from us," says Pierre Beaudoin, President and Chief Operating Officer, Bombardier Aerospace.
"The CSeries aircraft will benefit from the latest technological advancements, including: increased use of composites and aluminum lithium in structures; a next-generation engine - the Pratt & Whitney Geared Turbofan; and the very latest in system technologies, such as fly-by-wire, and fourth-generation aerodynamics. Together, these advancements will produce up to 20% better fuel burn and up to 15% improved cash operating costs versus current in-production aircraft of similar size," he adds.
Bombardier also revealed three potential customers: Lufthansa, Qatar Airways and lessor ILFC.
"Lufthansa's focus is on a sustainable fleet development providing flexibility for the future. This includes, amongst others, the assessment of technology, reliability, environmental footprint, economics and passenger comfort. We are considering the CSeries family of aircraft in our broader evaluation of opportunities for the lower end of the single-aisle fleet because its proposed advantages could be attractive to us," said Nico Buchholz, Senior Vice-President, Corporate Fleet, Lufthansa.
"The CSeries aircraft's 2013 entry into service date suits us very well. We envisage an order for 20 aircraft," said Akbar Al Baker, Chief Executive Officer, Qatar Airways.
"We are very interested in the aircraft and have been looking at the CSeries program very carefully," said Steven F. Udvar-Hazy, Chairman and CEO/Founder of the giant lessor company International Lease Finance Corporation. "ILFC is not only considering buying the aircraft, we could become a co-launch customer. However, other major airlines need to sign up to the program as well. We would like to see a North American, European and possibly Asian customer," he added.