Graham Warwick/WASHINGTON DC
Bombardier is to invest $170 million in a new final assembly plant for its CRJ700 and CRJ900 regional jets. The facility, at Montreal's Mirabel airport, is to be completed in the second quarter of next year.
Assembly of the 70-seat CRJ700 will be transferred to Mirabel from Montreal's Dorval airport. Production of the 50-seat CRJ100/200 will continue at Dorval, alongside that of the Challenger business jet from which it was developed. CRJ100/200 output is planned to increase from 100 aircraft this year to 135 next year and 150 in 2002.
The decision follows the launch of the 86-seat CRJ900 at last month's Farnborough show. Bombardier has firm orders and letters of intent for 34 aircraft, plus options for another 28.
First flight of the CRJ900, a stretch of the CRJ700, is set for the first half of next year, leading to certification in the third quarter of 2002 and first deliveries in the fourth quarter. Deliveries of the CRJ700 will begin by year-end from the Dorval line. Bombardier has 172 orders and 299 options for the 70-seater.
Bombardier's Canadair plant in Montreal will continue to manufacture the wings and forward fuselages for all CRJs.