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Bombardier refines CSeries; eyes 2013 entry into service

Bombardier, as expected, has confirmed it is refining its CSeries business plan, and is now targeting a 2013 entry into service date for the aircraft.

“The programme’s team continues to optimise the aircraft configuration to meet customers’ requirements for a more economical, flexible and passenger-oriented airliner,” says the Canadian manufacturer in a statement.

New developments under consideration include increased use of composite material for the wing and fuselage and the next-generation engine technology, which could yield up to 15% better fuel burn than the existing technology on aircraft in production today.

Heightened customer and supplier interest “confirm Bombardier’s belief in addressing the lower end of the 100- to 149-seat market segment, estimated at 5,800 aircraft over the next 20 years”, says the company.

Bombardier in January 2006 stopped the planned launch of the CSeries, partly because of a “disconnect” between the world’s airlines and the manufacturer. One key fact was the proposed 2010 launch date, which was too late for the carriers and prohibitively expensive for the manufacturer.

“The decision process related to the launch of an aircraft program with more than a 20-year lifespan takes time and requires a well-defined business plan to ensure the programme’s long-term success,” says Bombardier Aerospace president and chief operating officer Pierre Beaudoin.

He adds: “As we have previously confirmed, the CSeries plan includes international partnerships, and discussions are progressing.”

Bombardier is holding a conference call this morning to further discuss its CSeries plan. The company will provide its next CSeries update in late March.

Related articles: Bombardier tightens controls on R&D
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