AIRSHOW-Bombardier management in spotlight as CSeries jet debuts in Paris

Thu Jun 11, 2015 12:19pm EDT
 
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By Allison Martell and Allison Lampert

TORONTO/MONTREAL, June 11 (Reuters) - Bombardier Inc's CSeries passenger jet will finally debut at the Paris Airshow this month, but the event will also let the Canadian company show off what may be an even more important asset: its new management team.

With the CSeries nearing certification by regulators after years of delays and cost overruns, Paris offers an opportunity for Bombardier to improve a weak order book by clinching new sales, or at least laying the groundwork for future deals.

The event is also a debut of sorts for the company's new Chief Executive Alain Bellemare and the team he has assembled to get the CSeries program back on track.

The Montreal-based planemaker has not announced a single firm CSeries order since September, and none of the tentative orders announced around last year's Farnborough International Air Show in Britain have been converted to firm orders.

Analysts have long urged Bombardier to be more aggressive to win orders, offering risky walk-away rights and other allowances that could see the program losing money for years.

"This is a long game, and you had the old management just in complete denial," said Richard Aboulafia, an aerospace analyst with Virginia-based Teal Group. "What you've got is a management team that now recognizes market reality. You want a strategic win? It's going to cost you."

Bellemare, who touts the aircraft's efficiency, is cautious about sales strategy, promising to do right by both buyers and shareholders.   Continued...