UPDATE 2-Bombardier delays CSeries 1st flight again, up to a month

Wed Jun 26, 2013 3:50pm EDT
 
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* Bombardier shares fall as much as 4.5 percent

* Second delay for CSeries

* Says has applied to Transport Canada for flight test permit

By Solarina Ho

TORONTO, June 26 (Reuters) - Bombardier Inc on Wednesday delayed the maiden flight of its all-new CSeries jetliner for a second time, the latest setback in the Canadian planemaker's $3.4 billion bid to compete with bigger rivals.

Bombardier fell as much as 4.5 percent on the Toronto Stock Exchange after the company said it was pushing back its inaugural flight by up to a month.

"It certainly doesn't help alleviate any of the skepticism around management's assertion about program timing," said PI Financial Corp analyst Chris Murray, calling the situation a bit of a disappointment.

Bombardier said the new schedule will give it time for additional software upgrades, with an inaugural flight now scheduled before the end of July. Its previous delay, late last year, was due to an unspecified supplier problem.

The CSeries, which can accommodate between 110 and 130 seats, is the first all-new, narrow-body plane in decades and is Bombardier's bet on the lucrative 100- to 149-seat segment. A reconfigured version of the plane can seat up to 160.   Continued...