Bombardier strengthens pact with China's COMAC

Tue Nov 13, 2012 1:28pm EST
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* Companies to consider joint marketing, sales

* May collaborate on future product lines

* Follows Bombardier's delay of C-Series first flight

TORONTO, Nov 13 (Reuters) - Canada's Bombardier Inc and Commercial Aircraft Corp of China Ltd COMAC) have strengthened an existing cooperation agreement to include possible joint sales and marketing on their new C-Series and C919 planes, the companies said on Tuesday.

Announcing the second phase of a contract that could also include collaboration on future product lines, the companies said they hoped for cost benefits for both planes.

Under an agreement first announced in March, the two companies say they have made efficiency and product development gains on cockpit-crew interfaces, electrical systems, development of aluminum-lithium standards and specifications, and technical publications.

"This relationship should facilitate the sale of the C-Series aircraft in the Chinese market, which is the second-largest addressable market for the aircraft after the U.S.," BMO Capital Markets analyst Fadi Chamoun said of the latest phase of the pact.

Bombardier said last week that it was delaying the first flight of its C-Series jetliner by six months. That sparked concerns about its ability to meet that deadline and attract new orders for a plane that will compete with aircraft built by industry giants Airbus and Boeing.

The C-Series will not compete with COMAC's C919s, as Bombardier's aircraft have 100 to 149 seats and COMAC's planes have 168 to 190 seats.   Continued...