Bombardier announces the official launch of the new CSeries with a Letter Of Intent from Germany’s Lufthansa for 60 aircraft. The plane will be built in China (fuselage), Northern Ireland (wings) and Mirabel and St. Laurent Quebec (cockpit, aft fuselage and final assembly).
The CSeries is positioned to fill the need for smaller, fuel efficient aircraft in the 110-130 seat range. It will be powered by the revolutionary Pratt & Whitney Geared Turbofan engine.
Initially announced in 2004 as a concept, this announcement moves it from the drawing board to the manufacturing floor with the attendant creation of more jobs in a sector that is going through some very rough times. The CSeries promises to be the right airplane for these times of high fuel prices and lowered expectation for airline load factors. Airbus, Boeing and Embraer will have some catching up to do.
Quotes from the release:
“Today is a great day for Bombardier, our customers, our employees, our shareholders and our suppliers. I am proud to say that we have met our business plan objectives: a technologically advanced aircraft family, a strong pipeline of orders and repayable investments with governments and agreements with key suppliers. With the latest in system technologies and aerodynamics, the CSeries family of aircraft will revolutionize the economics and network strategies for airline operations in the 100- to 149-seat commercial market. It is another example of our commitment to designing and manufacturing innovative aircraft that will ensure our continued industry leadership,” said Pierre Beaudoin, President and Chief Executive Officer, Bombardier Inc.
“At Lufthansa, we are committed to a balance between commercial success, environment and business policies oriented toward sustainability,” said Nico Buchholz, Senior Vice President, Corporate Fleet, Lufthansa. “Our initial evaluations of the CSeries family of aircraft and discussions with Bombardier over the last few months have evolved and made us believe that the CSeries family of aircraft clearly meets our stringent requirements for sustainable fleet development, both in terms of environmental and commercial requirements, and flexibility for the future. We are proud to be a part of its launch.”
Both the announcement of the launch and the decision that a significant amount of manufacturing and assembly will be done in Canada bodes very well for the future of aviation in Canada. Bombardier Aerospace is truly a Canadian success story built on the de Havilland Canada company which was formed 80 years ago.