Bombardier in the last several weeks significantly picked up the pace of CSeries deliveries, handing four aircraft to customers in March and putting the company on a trajectory that makes it 2018 delivery goal within reach.
Whether the surge in deliveries is a one-month blip or representative of a sustained trend remains unclear. Bombardier has delivered multiple aircraft in previous one-month periods but been unable to sustain that pace.
The Montreal-based manufacturer has aimed to deliver 40 CSeries to customers in 2018, but the glacial pace of deliveries earlier this year meant Bombardier’s production line needed to hustle to remain on track.
The company delivered just one aircraft in January and none in February, though executives insisted deliveries would speed up as the year progressed.
The pace jumped in March, when Bombardier handed over four aircraft – more than in any month since deliveries began in June 2016, according to the company and Flight Fleets Analyzer.
Bombardier has previously, on three occasions, delivered three aircraft in a single month, Fleets Analyzer shows. Airlines have taken delivery of a total 29 CSeries since Bombardier handed over the first aircraft in June 2016.
The four aircraft delivered in March – all the larger CS300 variant – included two aircraft delivered to Korean Air (serial numbers 55022 and 55024) and two handed over to Swiss Global Air Lines (serial numbers 55021 and 55025), Fleets Analyzer shows.
Though Bombardier has delivered just five aircraft year-to-date, the company can meet its 40-aircraft 2018 goal by maintaining a roughly four-aircraft-per-month delivery pace.
If that happens, Bombardier also stands to begin delivering CS100s in 2018 to Delta Air Lines, a development that would finally see the aircraft flying for a major North American airline.
Delta, the world’s second largest carrier by available seats, has orders for 75 CS100s.
Bombardier’s set the 40-aircraft 2018 goal despite falling short of a 2017 goal to deliver 20 CSeries.
The company handed over just 17 CSeries in 2017, a year during which problems with the CSeries’ Pratt & Whitney PW1500G turbofans hampered Bombardier’s delivery pace.