Bombardier leaves Paris 'satisfied' but without CSeries orders

Fri Jun 19, 2015 2:19pm EDT
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By Allison Martell

TORONTO (Reuters) - Bombardier Inc (BBDb.TO: Quote) got no orders for its new passenger jet, the CSeries, at this week's Paris airshow, another setback for a much-delayed program that comes just as signs of a slowdown in the commercial jet market start to grow.

Despite the lack of new orders, the Montreal-based planemaker pronounced itself "absolutely satisfied" to have showcased two test planes in Paris, and said the narrow-body, medium-range CSeries is beating its fuel-burn and range targets, important efficiency metrics in the industry.

In contrast to Paris, at last year's Farnborough International Air Show, Bombardier was able to announce a firm order for two CSeries jets and tentative deals to sell up to 66 more, even though an engine fire had grounded the CSeries test program. Paris and Farnborough are key sales events that take place in alternate years.

Even aside from the CSeries, Paris was not generous to Bombardier this year as it announced only one new firm order during the show, selling six Q400 turboprops to Canada's WestJet Airlines Ltd (WJA.TO: Quote).

Meanwhile, Brazilian rival Embraer SA (EMBR3.SA: Quote) announced 50 firm orders for regional jets, and regional planemaker ATR, an Airbus and Finmeccanica SIFI.MI joint venture, announced 46.

"The goal for the airshow was to showcase two brand new CSeries aircraft," said Bombardier spokeswoman Marianella Delabarrera. "The management team is absolutely satisfied."

Delabarrera said the company met with 98 percent of the buyers it is targeting. "The orders, they will come," she said.

Bombardier's new management had tempered expectations ahead of the show, but investors had said they expected at least a few orders. Bombardier has not announced a new firm order for the CSeries, plagued with years of cost overruns and delays, since September.   Continued...

A Bombardier CS300 aircraft is taxied into static display after participating in a flying display during the 51st Paris Air Show at Le Bourget airport near Paris, June 15, 2015. REUTERS/Pascal Rossignol