CSeries order talks advance with 'handful' of potential customers

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Bombardier is in advanced talks with a handful of companies over the sale of its Pratt & Whitney PurePower PW1000G-powered CSeries narrowbody aircraft, the airframer reveals.

While "not in a position to give targets" for CSeries sales this year, Bombardier is "in discussion with about 60 airlines right now and a handful of [those] discussions are further advanced", Bombardier Aerospace chief operating officer Guy Hachey said today during an earnings conference call.

Hachey says the Canadian airframer this year hopes to make further progress in its negotiations, and announce additional orders.

To date, Bombardier has secured 90 firm orders and 90 options for the 110/130-seat CSeries. A total 40 of these firm orders and 40 options were recently placed by US operator Republic Airways.

Hachey says that, in terms of CSeries campaigns, Bombardier "can't point to one part of the world where we have more than others".

China, however, is considered "a significant market" for the CSeries.

Bombardier also sees great potential in placing its Q400 turboprops and CRJ regional jets in China, says Hachey.

To this end, Bombardier recently forged a new relationship with Chinese lessor CDB Leasing, clearing the way for the latter firm to offer pre-delivery payment financing, delivery financing and leasing solutions to customers of CSeries, Q400 and CRJ aircraft.

"We are establishing ourselves quite well in China, working with our partners because we see the opportunities in the marketplace," says Hachey.

He notes that Bombardier is also starting to see "huge opportunities" for placing business jets in China.

Bombardier recently began construction on a facility in Northeast China that will build the CSeries centre fuselage as well as the tailcone structure "with doors ultimately", notes Hachey.

Shenyang Aircraft Corporation (SAC), a subsidiary of the China Aviation Industry Corporation (AVIC), will operate the 21,000 sq m facility.