Bombardier's CSeries "very close" to flying again -source

Thu Sep 4, 2014 5:42pm EDT
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By Solarina Ho

TORONTO, Sept 4 (Reuters) - Bombardier Inc's troubled CSeries is on the brink of resuming test flights in coming days, a source familiar with the matter said on Thursday.

"It is very close. There should be some good news on the test program within the next week," the source said.

The exact day is unclear, since it will depend on standard operating issues such as weather, according to the source.

Bombardier's ambitious, multi-billion dollar CSeries program stalled during the summer when the test planes were grounded following an engine failure in late May.

Bombardier has said since June that flying would resume "in the coming weeks", and a spokesman could not narrow that time frame further on Thursday.

Speculation has increased among experts and industry watchers that the aircraft, which is about 18 to 24 months behind schedule, will be back in the air sometime this month.

The CSeries plane, which Bombardier claims has superior operating and fuel efficiencies, competes against the smaller jets made by aerospace giants Boeing Co and Airbus Group .

Airbus' single-aisle A320neo, redesigned to be more efficient than its current generation, is now being readied for its first test flight, expected in the second half of September.   Continued...