Bombardier believes the narrower time gap between the CSeries and its rivals’ new narrowbody products will add more weight to demands for new engine technology.

Speaking at the manufacturer’s pre-Paris Air Show briefing in Belfast, Bombardier new commercial aircraft programme president Gary Scott said: “It is helpful to be closer to the time that Boeing and Airbus may be close to reinventing their [narrowbody] products.

“Now we’ve got until 2013, this fits in well with geared-turbofan technology. It also fits with Rolls-Royce which is thinking of a new engine and it fits with CFM as well.”

Scott says that Bombardier has been impressed by Pratt & Whitney's geared turbofan, which has not been mirrored to date by its rivals.

“They’ve been working on this technology for a long time and it’s now matured to a point where we can put it on a new aircraft. It’s a very good option, but it’s not going unnoticed by Rolls-Royce and CFM.”

CSeries Bombardier

He adds that a decision on the CSeries’ engine will be taken “no later than next year”.

Scott says the CSeries also stands to benefit from its lower-capacity niche, compared with Boeing and Airbus.

Boeing’s 737 and Airbus’ A320 families have typically been downsized to form smaller derivatives, he says, meaning that they are not optimised for the 110- to 130-seat market.

“We believe that will not change when Boeing and Airbus reinvent their products,” he says.

“They are more likely to go up than down. They would have to come up with a completely new aircraft. They are not good at building small aircraft. They are optimising the 150- to 160-seat single-aisles.”

Scott says that upsizing the Embraer is not a good solution either, potentially leaving Bombardier to take around two-thirds of the market at the low end of the 110- to 130-seat spectrum, and a “small fraction” at the higher end.