Bombardier suggests that it could deliver CS100s to Delta Air Lines from its Montreal Mirabel facility this year, despite earlier comments from the airline that it wanted the aircraft to come from the airframer's proposed Alabama assembly site.
Chief executive Alain Bellemare says Bombardier's recent victory against Boeing before US trade court "clears the path for us to support Delta this year as we work to close our partnership with Airbus".
"Clearly, the Delta aircraft are in the skyline for 2018," says Bellemare. He adds that the International Trade Commission's [ITC] just-released report, which describes the reasoning behind the ruling, "gives us flexibility to ship the aircraft from… Mirabel to Delta".
Delta ordered 75 CS100s in 2016, with deliveries initially scheduled for between 2018 and 2020.
That schedule was thrown into question when Boeing filed a complaint against Bombardier in 2017. As a result, the US Department of Commerce proposed a 292% import duty on CSeries aircraft. Bombardier responded to by announcing a partnership with Airbus, and plans to open a CSeries final assembly site in Mobile, Alabama, that would allow US customers to avoid the proposed duties.
Delta executives said in December 2017 that they had asked Bombardier to guarantee that all of its CSeries would come from the planned Mobile site. However, such a move would delay deliveries for a number of years.
The ITC shot down the proposed duties in January, clearing the way for tariff-free CSeries deliveries to the USA.
Delta has yet to release a final fleet plan for 2018. Executives said in January that it would take around 50 aircraft deliveries this year, a number that was understood to not include CS100s.