ZURICH/MONTREAL (Reuters) - Canada’s Bombardier Inc BBDb.TO is under less pressure to ink new orders for its CSeries jet at a major European air show next week after receiving orders from Delta Air Lines DAL.N and Air Canada AC.TO, a senior executive said on Wednesday.
: Those two deals for a combined 120 narrow body planes enabled Bombardier to surpass its own target of 300 CSERIES orders by the time the new jet enters service this month.
At the Paris air show in June last year, the company announced no orders for the CSeries.
Bombardier executives will be attending Britain’s Farnborough air show next week, where plane makers regularly publicize new orders.
“There was a lot of pressure from the industry looking at this program, because early in the program there was a milestone of 300 firm orders,” Fred Cromer, president of Bombardier Commercial Aircraft, said in an interview in Zurich. “We have surpassed that number, so from that standpoint the pressure’s off.”
After securing deals with Delta and Air Canada, Cromer said Bombardier would now like an order for the fuel-efficient CSeries from a low-cost airline “to really demonstrate the versatility of the aircraft.”
Bombardier has held sales talks with other carriers including Ethiopian Airlines.
Separately, the planemaker could announce certification of the 130-seat CS300 jet for use in commercial flights at Farnborough, though the final decision remains in the hands of Transport Canada, according to one source, who spoke on condition of anonymity.
The CS300 should be certified “soon,” a company spokeswoman said, but did not specify when it would be announced.
Bombardier executives, who recently reached a $1 billion investment deal with the province of Quebec for a stake in the CSeries, will also meet with Canada’s innovation minister, Navdeep Bains, in Farnborough.
The company and federal government are in talks for a $1 billion federal injection in the plane program. But the Canadian government has expressed concerns about Bombardier’s dual-class share structure that gives majority voting control to the founding Bombardier-Beaudoin family.
The U.K. meeting is not expected to lead to a breakthrough in the negotiations that have stalled, according to a separate source familiar with the talks, who declined to be identified because of the sensitivity of the negotiations.
A spokeswoman for Bombardier said Wednesday that the company was in “ongoing” discussion with the federal government.
Additional reporting by Tim Hepher in Paris and David Ljunggren in Ottawa; Editing by James Dalgleish and Leslie Adler