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Bombardier pushes back CRJ1000 EIS to 1Q 2010

Bombardier has pushed back its entry-into-service (EIS) calendar for the CRJ1000 NextGen regional jet from the fourth quarter of 2009 to the first quarter of 2010.

The Canadian airframer says, however, that certification of the 100-seat aircraft, the largest version of its CRJ, remains on schedule for the fourth quarter of 2009.

"We are encouraged and very enthusiastic as the CRJ1000 prototype undergoes its flight testing," says a Bombardier spokesman, adding: "It's not uncommon to make timing adjustments as we work through the complexities of a new aircraft programme."

An unnamed source with knowledge of situation did confirm that any slippage will be minor and that EIS will likely occur very early in the new calendar year.

In early September Bombardier's prototype CRJ1000 made its successful inaugural flight from the Bombardier facility at Mirabel, Quebec.

Next year the prototype CRJ1000 will be joined by the first production CRJ1000 at Bombardier's flight test centre in Wichita, Kansas in preparation for EIS and review by the flight operations evaluation board.

Bombardier has secured four customers for the CRJ1000 - Adria Airways, Brit Air, Myair and an undisclosed airline. At 31 July, the company listed orders for a total 39 CRJ1000s. However, Brit Air last month converted six additional options, bringing total announced orders for the type to 45.

Separately, Bombardier continues to hold discussions with Lufthansa and other potential customers about its 110/130-seat geared turbofan (GTF)-powered CSeries aircraft. Lufthansa chairman and CEO Wolfgang Mayrhuber recently said that negotiations concerning the firming up of orders for 30 CSeries aircraft "have advanced pretty well".

A Bombardier spokesman says: "We would prefer not to assign a specific timetable but remain very bullish on offering an optimized aircraft solution for the 100 to 149 seat segment."

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