ZURICH/MONTREAL July 6 (Reuters) - Canada’s Bombardier Inc 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 and Air Canada , a senior executive said on Wednesday.
Those two deals for a combined 120 narrowbody planes enabled Bombardier to surpass its own target of 300 CSeries orders by the smaller CS100’s entry into service this month. By contrast, the company announced no orders for the jet at the Paris air show in June of last year.
Bombardier executives will be attending Britain’s Farnborough air show next week, where planemakers 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,” Bombardier Commercial Aircraft President Fred Cromer said in an interview in Zurich. “We have surpassed that number, so from that standpoint the pressure’s off.”
After securing deals with the two legacy carriers, 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 declined to specify whether it would be announced at Farnborough.
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 UK meeting is not expected to lead to a breakthrough in the negotiations which have stalled, according to a separate source familiar with the talks, who declined to be identified because of the sensitivity of negotiations.
Bombardier could not immediately be reached to comment on the status of talks. (Additional reporting by Tim Hepher in Paris and David Ljunggren in Ottawa; Editing by James Dalgleish)