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PARIS: Bombardier considers updating CSeries specifications

Bombardier is considering updating CSeries performance specifications following reports from airlines that the aircraft are performing better than expected.

"Both Swiss and Air Baltic have been public about the fact that the airplane has done better than what they thought it would do in terms of performance," says Bombardier commercial aircraft president Fred Cromer. "We are in conversations about... should we modify the spec?"

Cromer says Bombardier is "in the middle of analysing data", adding: "This is more specifically the fuel consumption."

His comments come as the Canadian manufacturer showcases CSeries at this year's show in an effort to move an orderbook that has remained nearly flat for more than a year.

Nearly a year has also passed since the first CSeries – a CS100 – entered service with Swiss. Cromer says other carriers have noticed the type's performance and recent certification to operate at the performance-restricted London City airport.

"The interest level in the airplane continues to grow," says Cromer. "The reputation of the airplane, and its entry into service, has started to become known throughout the industry."

Meanwhile, Bombardier is working to increase production and keep deliveries on track despite delayed shipments by Pratt & Whitney of PW1500G engines.

The airframer has delivered 14 CSeries jets in total, including seven this year, and aims to produce 30-35 in 2017 and 120 per annum by 2020.

Cromer says Bombardier expects to meet its 2017 goal as production ramps up in the next six months. "It's a manageable ramp-up plan... for all of our suppliers, including Pratt."

In-service CSeries PW1500Gs have also needed earlier-than-expected combustor borescope inspections, as have PW1100Gs that power Airbus A320neos.

Though inspections have not turned up surprises, the combustors will be replaced with updated ones that have longer service lives, says Cromer.

"The combustor is lasting as long as it was predicted, even in this shorter-life scenario," he says. "It will require a replacement to have the longer-life combustor."

CSeries have had some in-service interruptions related to the engines, but "not nearly the volume" as experienced by A320neos, says Cromer.

"We have had isolated incidences, but all very, very manageable," says Cromer. "The entry-into-service experience for both Swiss and Air Baltic has been outstanding."

Bombardier also faces a pending investigation by US officials into whether the company violated trade regulations by selling CSeries jets at heavy discounts to Delta Air Lines in 2016.

"We feel like the facts are on our side," Cromer says. "This is an action against innovation. We are talking about a specific size category, that there is no comparison with Boeing. They don't produce a 100-seater airplane."

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