Bombardier says CSeries on track; revenue jumps

Thu May 9, 2013 10:33am EDT
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By Bhaswati Mukhopadhyay

(Reuters) - Bombardier Inc (BBDb.TO: Quote) said its CSeries jetliner was on track to make its first flight in June, and the world's No. 4 commercial aircraft maker reported a 25 percent jump in first-quarter revenue on robust growth at its aerospace unit.

The new C-Series -- Bombardier's ticket into the larger commercial jet market -- is a single-aisle plane, with seating for up to 160 passengers.

It represents the Canadian company's attempt to break into the lower end of the lucrative 100-to-200-seat aircraft market dominated by Boeing Co (BA.N: Quote) and Airbus EAD.PA.

Bombardier said on Thursday it had commitments for 388 CSeries aircraft as of March 31, including 145 firm orders from nine customers in eight countries.

The CSeries tests are progressing well, Chief Executive Pierre Beaudoin said in a statement.

The aircraft claims a 15 percent cash operating cost advantage and 20 percent fuel burn advantage over the Boeing and Airbus models. Its airframe is lighter as well.

"We believe (CSeries progress) will continue to help to lift sentiment - particularly if it is matched with new orders going into the Paris Air Show next month," analyst Walter Spracklin of RBC Capital Markets said in a note to clients.

The Montreal-based company is under pressure to meet its targets of 300 firm orders and 20 customers by mid-2014.   Continued...

Bombardier unveils its CSeries aircraft at a news conference at its assembly facility in Mirabel, Quebec, March 7, 2013. REUTERS/Christinne Muschi