July 24, 2013 / 1:29 PM / 4 years ago

Bombardier delays CSeries maiden flight for third time

TORONTO (Reuters) - Bombardier Inc (BBDb.TO) on Wednesday delayed the maiden flight of its all-new CSeries jetliner for a third time, promising the flight "in the coming weeks", instead of in July.

Shares, which had climbed nearly 11 percent since Bombardier announced its earlier, one-month delay, fell as much as 3 percent to C$4.92 on the Toronto Stock Exchange.

The delay is another obstacle in the Canadian plane maker's $3.4 billion bid to compete with bigger rivals with the narrow-bodied C-Series jet.

Bombardier said the aircraft was in its final stages of testing ahead of the first flight, but "highly technical" last steps were taking longer than anticipated and a Flight Test Permit from Transport Canada was expected in coming weeks.

Last month, Bombardier said it needed more time for additional software upgrades and the inaugural flight would happen by the end of July. The first delay, due to an unspecified supplier problem, occurred last year.

The CSeries, which can fit 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 dominated by Airbus and Boeing (BA.N). A reconfigured version of the larger plane can seat up to 160.

Reporting by Solarina Ho; Editing by Jeffrey Hodgson and Nick Zieminski

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