Bombardier hopes to turn Latin tide towards smaller aircraft

Bombardier wants to convince Latin American airlines that bigger is not necessarily better, as it continues hunting for an anchor CSeries customer in Latin America and pushing its regional products.

"There's been a trend towards larger aircraft, like the A320 and 737," says Colin Bole, Bombardier's senior vice-president for commercial aircraft. "Airbus and Boeing have been very successful at convincing airlines that bigger is better."

Bole, however, argues that there is a limit to that trend. "It's time to revise the cycle," he tells FlightGlobal on the sidelines of the ALTA Airline Leaders Forum in Mexico City.

Bombardier believes that the CSeries can allow airlines to launch service on new markets at the same fares but with lower risk, offering the same unit cost as the larger narrowbodies. This attribute allows carriers to test out new markets and add frequencies on existing routes.

Latin America, in particular, would benefit from a change in its mindset towards smaller aircraft, says Bole. "It's a region that is growing rapidly but it remains finite," he says.

While Bombardier continues to search for an anchor customer for the CSeries in Latin America, Bole acknowledges that this is not expected in the near term given the macroeconomic conditions in the region.

The airframer, however, is optimistic about sales prospects of its regional aircraft including the CRJ family and the Q400.

"There are lots of point-to-point routes that are insufficiently covered right now, both in domestic and transborder," says Bole.

The Q400, for example, is ideal for island-hopping routes in the Caribbean, he adds.

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