November 24, 2015 / 12:01 PM / 2 years ago

Bombardier close to winning CSeries certification - sources

3 Min Read

Nov 24 (Reuters) - Canada's Bombardier meets with investors on Tuesday with certification for its CSeries passenger jet "very close," according to sources familiar with the matter, but with no new orders imminent.

Certification of the new jetliner, targeted for the end of the month, is expected within days as Bombardier finalizes documentation with Canadian regulators, the sources said.

"Certification is now very, very close," one source said.

Bombardier spokeswoman Marianella de la Barrera on Monday reiterated the company's target of "certification by the end of the year."

Transport Canada did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The Canadian company, which is holding its annual investor day in New York on Tuesday, said last week it had finished flight testing of the aircraft due to enter service with Lufthansa subsidiary SWISS in the first half of 2016.

Coming hard on the heels of agreements for cash infusions from the Quebec government, certification would bring a further boost to Bombardier and its attempt to penetrate the main segment of jet market dominated by Airbus and Boeing .

However, the Canadian firm faces the challenge of ramping up production, dealing with any cost overruns or snags on entry to service and securing new orders to try to recover lost momentum.

Bombardier is chasing potential sales of dozens of jets at airlines including United Airlines and JetBlue but faces competition from Brazilian rival Embraer and the two bigger players amid a lull in jet market activity.

United is looking for 30 jets in the 100-seat category, industry sources said.

No new orders are imminent but Bombardier is under pressure to land a marquee airline customer before the Farnborough Airshow in July 2016, the industry's top gathering which serves as a natural deadline for game-changing industry developments.

Fred Cromer, president of Bombardier Commercial Aircraft, told Reuters earlier this month he was confident Bombardier could secure a "sizeable order" for the delayed aircraft with a big-name airline..

The future of Canada's assault on the Airbus-Boeing duopoly was thrown into doubt earlier this year as the company bled cash, but Quebec last month agreed to invest $1 billion.

Quebec's public pension fund manager has also agreed to buy a 30 percent stake in Bombardier's rail business for $1.5 billion to provide a cash cushion for the planemaking unit.

Despite the recent deals, Bombardier is still seeking more help and is in talks with the Canadian federal government about a further investment in the CSeries.

Talks to sell control of the CSeries to Europe's Airbus collapsed after they became public last month.

Bombardier's recently revamped management is expected to outline its strategy for turning around the planemaking unit at a keenly awaited investor meeting on Tuesday. (Reporting by Tim Hepher in Paris and Allison Lampert in Montreal; Editing by Sandra Maler)

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