Supplier issues delay CSeries first flight to 2013

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Bombardier has delayed the first flight and entry-into-service of its in-development CSeries narrowbody, with the maiden sortie now expected to take place by the end of June 2013 and handover to its launch customer following around a year later.

It cites unexplained issues with the programme, mainly related to suppliers, for the hiatus. The CS100's first flight was originally scheduled to take place by the end of this year, with first delivery following in late 2013.

As recently as last month, the Canadian airframer had reaffirmed its lat-2012 target, although it acknowledged the deadline was increasingly tight.

In a statement accompanying its third-quarter results, Pierre Beaudoin, Bombardier president and chief executive, says although the programme has built up "momentum" over recent months and has reached "key milestones" a number of areas on the Pratt & Whitney PW1500G-powered twinjet "require more time".

He says the new schedule for the first flight has been discussed with its suppliers and is "a timeline that all parties have agreed is achievable".

Assembly of the static test airframe and the first flight-test aircraft are progressing well, it adds.

The timeline for the CS300 aircraft remains unchanged with entry-into-service still scheduled for the end of 2014, it says.

Bombardier's aerospace revenues totalled $2.3 billion for the third quarter, unchanged from the same period last year. Earnings Before Interest and Taxes (EBIT) totalled $123 million for the quarter, down from £129 million in 2011.

It took in orders for 38 commercial aircraft worth $643 million during the quarter and its aerospace backlog now stands at $26.1 billion.