Bombardier gets OK to start flight tests of larger CSeries plane

Fri Feb 20, 2015 2:11pm EST
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TORONTO (Reuters) - Bombardier Inc said on Friday it has won regulatory approval to begin flight testing the CS300, the larger version of its new CSeries narrow-body jet.

Transport Canada inspectors have issued the flight permit that allows the first CS300 flight test vehicle to join the test program, said the company in a statement.

Pending optimal weather conditions, the CS300 aircraft's first flight is expected between Feb. 26 and Feb. 28, the company said.

Flight testing on the smaller CS100 began in September 2013, but was stalled for months last year after engine failure during a ground trial in May. The jet program has faced years of delays.

Bombardier stunned investors last week when it replaced its chief executive, suspended dividends, and said it would raise $2 billion in new debt and equity amid further cost overruns in its long-delayed CSeries passenger jet program.

(Reporting by Euan Rocha; Editing by Bernadette Baum)