June 4, 2013 / 5:33 PM / 6 years ago

Bombardier says Gulf Air ordered up to 16 CSeries planes

A security guard looks on as Bombardier unveiled its CSeries aircraft at a news conference at its assembly facility in Mirabel, Quebec, March 7, 2013. REUTERS/Christinne Muschi

TORONTO (Reuters) - Planemaker Bombardier Inc (BBDb.TO) of Canada said on Tuesday Gulf Air is the previously undisclosed airline that ordered up to 16 of its all-new CSeries jetliners.

The order by the national carrier of Bahrain for 10 of the 110-seat CS100 aircraft, with options for another six, had been announced in June 2011, the company said.

Industry anticipation is building ahead of the CSeries’ maiden flight at the end of this month.

The new family of narrow-body, twin-engine, medium-range jets is company’s big challenge to industry leaders Boeing Co (BA.N) and Airbus EAD.PA.

Bombardier, the world’s fourth-largest commercial planemaker, said this week it would use the Paris air show in mid-June to unveil a previously undisclosed customer and could add new business.

Bombardier has 145 firm orders so far, with a handful still undisclosed, out of its goal of 300 by mid-2014.

The aviation industry is keen to see how the CSeries will do and airlines are awaiting the plane’s first flight to confirm whether the plane’s technology and efficiency claims hold up.

The countdown to the CSeries’ first flight coincides with preparations for the first flight of the larger Airbus A350, which could fly before the June 17-23 air show.

Reporting by Solarina Ho; Editing by James Dalgleish

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