March 7, 2013 / 2:27 PM / 5 years ago

Bombardier unveils high-stakes CSeries jetliner

MONTREAL, March 7 (Reuters) - Canada’s Bombardier Inc took the wraps off its $3.4 billion CSeries narrow-body jetliner on Thursday, the plane maker’s bid to break into the 100-200 seat market heavily defended by industry leaders Boeing and Airbus.

Bombardier said its CSeries program was making “solid progress,” and it still plans a first flight by the end of June.

Bombardier, the world’s fourth-biggest commercial plane maker, has high hopes for the CSeries despite a still-small order book. It says it has 148 firm orders for the aircraft.

That compares with 1,064 orders for Boeing’s competing 737 MAX and more than 1,440 for Airbus’ NEO family, though only a small fraction of those orders are for the smaller models that compete directly with the CSeries.

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