Swedish carrier backs out as first Bombardier CSeries operator

Fri Aug 29, 2014 6:12pm EDT
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By Solarina Ho

TORONTO Aug 29 (Reuters) - Bombardier Inc's troubled aerospace business faces more upheaval as a Swedish carrier backed out as the first customer to start commercial flights with its new CSeries jet and the Canadian firm said more senior aerospace executives will be laid off.

Malmo Aviation, owned by Sweden's Braathens Aviation, was slated to be the first CSeries customer to take delivery of the new jet in the second half of 2015, but the airline said on Friday that will no longer be the case. It cited worries about further delays after a May engine failure grounded the jets.

"It has subsequently emerged that this may cause another delay to the CSeries introduction," Braathens said in its second-quarter 2014 report.

"We have informed Bombardier that we will not assume the role of formal launch operator of the aircraft type."

Bombardier shares closed down 3.2 percent on the Toronto Stock Exchange.

Braathens said due to the increased uncertainty, it was in discussion with Bombardier about other possible changes to the delivery schedule. The Swedish firm has ordered 10 CSeries aircraft.

"Per the original contract the first CS100 should have been delivered by now - mid 2014," Geir Stormorken, a spokesman for Braathens, said in an email.

Bombardier spokesman Marc Duchesne said Malmo notified the company of its intentions several days ago.   Continued...