UPDATE 2-Bombardier gets lift from CSeries certification

Fri Dec 18, 2015 1:23pm EST
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(Adds quotes from CEO, analyst)

By Allison Lampert

MONTREAL Dec 18 (Reuters) - Canada's Bombardier Inc won certification on Friday for its 110-seater CSeries plane, a milestone that could boost airlines' confidence in the new jetliner and helped lift the Montreal company's stock more than 17 percent.

The high-stakes CSeries, which has run millions of dollars over budget and years behind schedule, has gone more than one year without a new order.

At a Montreal-area event, Transport Minister Marc Garneau said that Transport Canada, the program's main regulator, has certified the smaller of two CSeries planes, the CS100. It marks the largest passenger aircraft ever certified by Transport Canada, he said.

"This is a turning point for the program," said Bombardier Chief Executive Officer Alain Bellemare.

Separately, the plane and train maker's executive chairman is seen stepping down in 2016, Reuters reported on Friday. .

The certification came after the promise of a $1 billion dollar cash infusion in October from the Quebec government for a nearly 50 percent stake in the CSeries. The federal government is still considering whether to invest in the program, Garneau told reporters.

Bombardier still faces the challenges 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.   Continued...