Bombardier Commercial Aircraft (stand N31) is exhibiting once again at Routes as it targets the expected strong demand in the Middle East and Africa for its CSeries twinjet.
The airframer has secured one customer in the region for the 110-145 seater (the identity of which is undisclosed) and is in talks with many others, says its vice-president for Middle East and Africa sales, Raphael Haddad.
"The CSeries is the ideal aircraft for smaller airlines in the Gulf," he says. "Our issue is to get our foot in the door. Once we start talking to the principals, they will see the value proposition of the CSeries."
Bombardier is talking to mainline and low-cost airlines about the CSeries and is seeing "great interest" from the latter in its proposed high-density 160-seat configured CS300 version. "With 160 seats, the seat-mile costs of the CS300 are very comparable to those of a Boeing 737 Max 8 with 189 seats, and then you save another 20-25% on trip costs. That's why these airlines are looking seriously at the CSeries," he says.
Haddad also sees the CSeries as a strong contender in the Saudi Arabian domestic market: "Saudi Arabia has some heavy routes with good traffic and yield, and we want to get in there," he says. "Airlines in this part of the world see the value, and are talking to us heavily."