Bombardier is pushing its full range of commercial aircraft at Airshow China in Zhuhai, and says that discussions are ongoing with several start-up carriers regarding possible orders.

Speaking to Flightglobal, the president of its commercial aircraft division Mike Arcamone says the airframer's CRJ series has had success China Express Airlines, and that airline has also said that it has strong interest in the CSeries.

He adds that Bombardier is also in talks with various start-up carriers on both the CSeries and Q400, depending on how the airlines “design their routes”.

Bombardier has a letter of intent for 30 Q400s from Nantong Tongzhou Bay Aviation Industry, with the aircraft to be operated by start-up carrier Sutong Airlines.

“We’re working with Sutong to firm up the order. Being a start-up they require certification and putting the financing in place. We do expect hopefully by year end, that they will be able to get that all accomplished,” says Arcamone.

The Canadian airframer brought one of Thai carrier Nok Air’s 86-seat Q400s to Zhuhai, showcasing the high density turboprop to potential customers. Arcamone says he is “absolutely pushing” the 86-seater in China as the country’s regional airports and the regional aviation industry develop.

China imposes up to a 24% import tax for aircraft below 90 seats, effectively preventing foreign manufacturers from competing in the market. There are no Bombardier or ATR turboprops in China, while has its own indigenous AVIC Xian Aircraft MA60 and MA600 regional aircraft.

Asked how Bombardier is able to work around that, he says it leaves it to operators “to see what type of government support they can get around the tax”.

China is also pushing its in-development MA700 turboprop at the show, which will compete with Bombardier and ATR in the large turboprop segment.

Asked how he views the competition, Arcamone says: “The Q400 is available and proven. So that’s what I’m telling my customers – if you want to wait, I don’t know when the MA700 will be available, but I have a current product which I can sell right now.”

Source: Cirium Dashboard