Bombardier expects a "strong uptake" in CSeries orders in Africa, as it expects a doubling of its fleet in the continent over the next three to five years.

Some 60 operators are flying about 200 Bombardier aircraft in Africa and that number will double in that timeframe, says Bombardier's senior vice president, sales for commercial aircraft, Chet Fuller.

This number is expected to double again in a shorter period, perhaps two to three years, or two to four years, he adds.

The airframer predicts "really good growth" for the Q400 turboprop and "modest growth" in the number of CRJs being operated in Africa. In addition, it also expects a "really strong uptake" in CS100 orders, says Fuller.

"That's the aircraft that will really open up some brand new markets that were not available before," he adds, pointing to the CS100's range and capabilities to operate at hot and high airports, as well as short runways.

"We are really bullish on the CS100 in Africa," says Fuller. While the airframer has not won an African customer for the CS100, Fuller says Bombardier is in talks with prospective customers and could conclude a sale "soon".

A CS100 could be flying in Africa as early as 2015, if African airlines choose to take aircraft from a lessor, says Fuller. Irish lessor Lease Corporation International has a firm order for three CS100s and 17 CS300s, while Russian lessor Ilyushin Finance is awaiting shareholder approval of its commitment to buy up to 42 CS300s. Braathens Leasing has a firm order for five CS100s and five CS300s, but these aircraft will be operated by Swedish carrier Malmo Aviation.

Source: Flight Daily News