Bombardier confirms that customers are discussing an all-business class CSeries CS100 to fly non-stop between London City and New York-John F Kennedy airports.

"We are in advanced negotiations with customers for that configuration," said Rob Dewar, CSeries vice president and general manager. "They will use it for that mission and others."

The maximum range of the normal, 110-seat version of the CS100 falls about 60nm short of the distance between the major financial centres.

But Bombardier's designers established the non-stop westbound leg across the Atlantic Ocean with an all-business class configuration as a requirement for the CS100, Dwar said.

If confirmed in flight tests, the special version of the CS100 would become the first airliner to have non-stop range to JFK yet still be small enough to meet the take-off distance and weight limits of London City.

British Airways now operates an Airbus A318 with 32 business class seats on the route, but it must stop to refuel on the westbound leg in Shannon, Ireland. The stop allows passengers to clear US customs before arriving in New York, but adds time to the overall trip.

Bombardier declined to answer questions about recent news reports that a London-based start-up Odyssey Airlines had already ordered the CS100 to challenge the British Airways A318 on the same route.

The reports named Odyssey as the undisclosed buyer of 10 CS100s that Bombardier announced in June at the Paris Air Show.

In an interview, Dewar indicated the advanced discussions were taking place with more than one customer for the all-business class CS100, and that each of the customers intended to deploy the aircraft on, among other routes, London City-JFK.

Source: Air Transport Intelligence news