Bombardier says CSeries to resume test flights this month
TORONTO (Reuters) - Bombardier Inc's grounded CSeries jet will resume flying this month, the Canadian train and plane maker said on Friday, adding that it was still confident the new plane would enter commercial service in the second half of 2015.
Flight tests for the much-delayed multibillion dollar CSeries program stalled through the summer following an engine failure in late May that occurred during stationary maintenance testing.
A source told Reuters on Thursday that the aircraft was expected to fly again in the coming days, but the exact date was unclear since it will depend on standard operating factors such as weather.
"In spite of the flight test program pause, we are still confident that entry-into-service will take place in the second half of 2015," said Rob Dewar, the vice president of the CSeries program, in a statement.
Bombardier's stock briefly rose 2.2 percent after the news, but closed the day down 0.55 percent at C$3.63.
The CSeries jetliner, which Bombardier claims has superior operating and fuel efficiencies, competes against the smaller aircraft made by Boeing Co and Airbus Group.
Montreal-based Bombardier, which said the first set of modified engines had been re-installed, hopes the CSeries will win a significant portion of what it expects will be the profitable 100- to 149-seat market.
But many carriers are taking a wait-and-see approach to the all-new designed plane, waiting for more test flight hours and entry into commercial service.
Pratt & Whitney, a division of United Technologies Corp, makes the engine for the narrow-body plane.
(Reporting by Solarina Ho; Editing by Paul Simao, Meredith Mazzilli and Bernard Orr)
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