Bombardier sees new CS100 jet certified by year end
By Andrea Shalal
DUBAI (Reuters) - Canadian planemaker Bombardier said on Sunday it is on track to certify its new CS100 regional jet, which is making its Middle Eastern debut at the Dubai Airshow this week, before its planned entry into service next year.
Fred Cromer, president of Bombardier Commercial Aircraft, told reporters the company's CSeries program was progressing well, and was seeing demand from an array of customers, including some in the Gulf region.
He said the company had nearly completed flight testing of the CS100, whose FTK-5 test model flew to Dubai last week, and had already begun function and reliability testing aimed at simulating typical airline routes and operations.
Completion of the flight test program and the plane's certification are essential for Bombardier to drum up additional orders for the new jet.
Cromer told Reuters on Sunday that the company still expected to sell 300 jets before the plane enters into service in the first half of 2016. It currently has 243 firm orders for the new jet, and an overall total of 603 orders, options and letters of intent.
He acknowledged Bombardier still had hard work ahead as a new entrant, and said it continued to press for a "marquis" customer or larger airline to help boost orders and confidence in the long-delayed program, which is billions of dollars over budget.
Quebec's provincial government announced a $1 billion investment on Oct. 29 to keep the CSeries program afloat.