Bombardier faces challenge to haul in CSeries orders

Thu Nov 12, 2015 11:58am EST
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By Andrea Shalal and Tim Hepher

DUBAI (Reuters) - Canadian planemaker Bombardier left the Dubai Airshow with pride restored after exhibiting its CSeries, but aware it faces a crucial task in revitalizing sales of the troubled jet.

Fred Cromer, president of Bombardier Commercial Aircraft, reported growing interest in the long-delayed aircraft as it nears certification, and said he was confident that Bombardier could finalize a "sizeable order" with a big-name airline.

The future of Canada's challenge to industry giants Airbus and Boeing was thrown into doubt earlier this year as the company bled cash, but Quebec last month agreed to invest $1 billion to help save jobs.

"Once you check a box, then that's a step forward. You don't have to worry about that anymore," Cromer told Reuters at the Dubai Airshow, referring to the company's improved finances.

"I wouldn't necessarily call it a sigh of relief; it just means you're moving onto the next box."

Bombardier flew the CS100 aircraft to Dubai as part of a push to drum up dozens of orders ahead of the jet's entry into service next year.

Cromer and other executives cited strong interest, including from the Gulf, but left without a deal in hand.

To maintain a credible presence, the company must now come up with fresh orders before the industry's biggest gathering in Farnborough, UK, next July, senior industry sources said.   Continued...

Bombardier's CS300 Aircraft is seen through the window of a CS100 while it sits in the hangar prior to its' test flight in Mirabel, Quebec, February 27, 2015.  REUTERS/Christinne Muschi