Swedish carrier says "fully committed" to Bombardier's CSeries

Wed Sep 3, 2014 9:46am EDT
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By Solarina Ho

TORONTO, Sept 3 (Reuters) - Braathens Aviation, the Swedish carrier that backed out last week as the first CSeries operator, said on Wednesday it is not canceling its order for Bombardier Inc's new plane following some speculation it may do so after multiple delays.

"We have a firm delivery contract with Bombardier. So we are fully committed," said spokesman Geir Stormorken in an email.

Malmo Aviation, owned by Sweden's Braathens Aviation, was slated to be the first CSeries customer to take delivery of the new jet sometime in the second half of 2015, but the airline said last week that will no longer be the case.

The carrier, which has firm orders for 10 CSeries aircraft, expressed concerns about further delays after a May engine failure grounded the jets.

"Per the original contract the first CS100 should have been delivered by now - mid 2014," Stormorken said last week.

Bombardier's ambitious multibillion-dollar CSeries program will give the Canadian plane and train maker a foothold in the larger commercial jetliner segment, pitting it against the smaller planes made by Boeing Co and Airbus Group NV .

The company hopes the new aircraft, which claims superior operating and fuel efficiencies, will win a sizeable portion of the 100- to 149-seat jet market, but many airlines are taking a wait-and-see stance.

The CSeries planes have been grounded all summer, though expectations are growing that test flights will resume this month. (Editing by Meredith Mazzilli)