AIRSHOW-Pratt & Whitney confident in Bombardier, expects CSeries demand to rebound

Tue Feb 16, 2016 12:05pm EST
 
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SINGAPORE Feb 16 (Reuters) - The head of engine maker Pratt & Whitney is not worried about struggling Canadian plane maker Bombardier and says demand for its new CSeries jet will pick up because it is a good product.

Pratt & Whitney makes the engines for the CSeries and its President Bob Leduc, asked at the Singapore Airshow whether he was worried about Bombardier's future, said: "I don't think I am, because I find it hard to believe that the Canadian government will let them fail."

The troubled CSeries has not had an order in more than a year and Canada's Liberal government is now considering whether to invest in the programme.

Quebec, where Bombardier accounts for about 40,000 direct and indirect jobs, said last week it would consider contributing further to the CSeries jet, after making a $1.3 billion investment in the troubled programme last year.

Beyond such uncertainties, Leduc said he was not worried about the CSeries aircraft itself.

"CSeries is a fantastic 100-seat airplane, fantastic with operating costs. They can get a couple of orders and I think if they do, they will be fine," Leduc said.

"I know Bombardier is going through a rough time (and) they spent more in development. But I have been around long enough to know that if you wait just a little while longer something will happen that is totally unexpected," said Leduc, who was pulled out of retirement to run Pratt & Whitney last month as it prepares for a steep rise in output.

"They have got a good product and in my experience, if you have a good product the market will eventually come."

Bombardier is due to hold briefings on the CSeries project at Asia's largest air show on Wednesday, when the Canadian company is also due to report fourth-quarter earnings. (Reporting by Tim Hepher; Editing by Susan Fenton)