PARIS: Bombardier focuses on imminent CSeries flight

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Bombardier arrives at the Paris air show focused on the CSeries airliner's first flight - due in the coming weeks - while its competitor Embraer is expected to launch its long-anticipated second-generation E-Jet programme.

The Canadian airframer's new CS100 narrowbody is set to fly by the end of the month or first week of July, says Chet Fuller, Bombardier's senior vice-president of commercial aircraft. Once flight-test vehicle one, as the first aircraft is known, takes to the skies, it will be a very short time before it has " hard data" to sell with, he adds.

"By September, we'll no longer be selling a brochure airplane," says Fuller. "We'll be selling hard data."

He adds that this will not be a "Bombardier announces 100 aircraft order" air show, reiterating that the airframer does not align orders with air shows.

Fuller is relaxed about the expected launch of Embraer's updated narrowbody. He admits they will pose "some competition" for the 110-seat CS100, but says there is no overlap with the 135-seat CS300, citing the E-Jets length and the height of its landing gear.

Many expect the Brazilian manufacturer to launch the new E-Jet programme and announce a significant number of orders at the show.

Fuller says that he does not foresee any orders coming from existing E-Jet customers and conversions from its outstanding orderbook, adding that all the Brazilian aircraft would not work for any existing CSeries customers.

Bombardier will emphasise expansions of the CRJ and Q400 customer bases at Paris, says Fuller. He cites the increasing popularity of the regional jet in Russia, and certification of the turboprop in China, Egypt, Indonesia and Russia during the past year.

Product improvements to both the CRJ and Q400 will also be on display in Paris.