Trawl back through Bombardier’s press release archive searching for CSeries stories and two things will quickly become apparent.
First, it is easy to trace how its dream turned sour. Initial promise and hope was quickly eroded by programme delays and cost overruns. Executives came and went as the whole effort became mired in slow-burn crisis.
The other painfully apparent issue is the lengthy gaps between orders: the CSeries has frequently gone years without securing fresh commitments.
For a long time it has appeared that the twinjet would fail to reach Bombardier’s self-imposed target of 300 firm orders by entry into service.
But at a stroke, Delta Air Lines – with its deal for 75 firm aircraft – may have single-handedly saved the programme. Bombardier has finally secured a major deal from a marquee customer, which could mean the difference between life and death for the single-aisle.
But with Bombardier nothing is ever clear cut. It must still safely steer both variants into service. And there is the small matter of securing much needed provincial – and possibly federal – government investment.
It is also worth noting that the deal is a loss-leader for Bombardier, contributing to a $500 million total.
Nonetheless, with the Delta order, some of those other problems seem somehow less daunting.
Source: Flight International