Bombardier CSeries boss says cash talks going well, delayed jet on track

Wed Mar 23, 2016 4:49pm EDT
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By John Miller

ZURICH (Reuters) - Talks between struggling planemaker Bombardier and the Canadian government about financial support are "going well," a company executive said on Wednesday as its delayed CSeries jet took another step toward delivery in the second quarter.

Bombardier (BBDb.TO: Quote) wants $1 billion in federal aid to help finance the 110- to 130-seat jetliner, which has been hit by cash shortages and delays, after receiving the same amount from Quebec last October.

"They (the talks) are progressing well. They (the government) and we will make an announcement if we get to an agreement," Rob Dewar, vice president and general manager of the company's flagship CSeries program, told Reuters.

He declined to comment on when a deal might be reached, but a source with knowledge of the situation said last week an announcement could come within weeks.

The first airline due to take delivery, Swiss International Air Lines, said it had sought reassurances from Bombardier, but believed the CSeries would perform well once it joins its fleet later this year.

"Quite frankly, we asked the question where do they stand, how they see the development," the airline's chief technical officer, Peter Wojahn said.

"Of course, as we worked as partners together we got some more detailed information ... but so far they've convinced us that everything is on the right track and that they are well positioned, also on the financial side, to succeed with the program," he said.

"On the other end, as you can imagine, we have some guarantees in our contract."   Continued...

Bombardier's CS300 Aircraft sits in the hangar prior to its' test flight in Mirabel February 27, 2015. REUTERS/Christinne Muschi