Bombardier has positioned itself for a major CSeries order in China with the announcement on March 30 of a $3.85bn financing deal with a Chinese financial institution.
CDB will provide the financing for Bombardier’s Q400 turboprop, the CRJ and the new CSeries. Bombardier already contracts with the growing Chinese aerospace industry for major fuselage sections and other components for all three of these airplanes.
For those who understand the Chinese way of doing things, this is a clear indicator that an order for the CSeries will be forthcoming in China.
There are indications that some momentum is beginning to build around the CSeries. Airbus and Boeing, in an exceedingly rare move, have joined to complain about Bombardier’s financing scheme for the airplane, focusing for the moment on Canadian export support. This lays the foundation for a complaint to the World Trade Organization.
Both companies are known to be concerned that the 110-149 seat airplane is a direct threat to the A319 and 737-700. Although sales have slowed (exclusive of the global recession) as airlines move toward the A320 and 737-800, the smaller mainline jets still command enough sales that neither major OEM wants to see these threatened by a clean-sheet airplane.
United Airlines is confirmed to be evaluating an order for 50+50 CSeries.
Here is a 24 minute podcast from Innovation Analysis Group discussing the CSeries with Lori Ranson of Air Transport Intelligence and Mary Kirby of Flight Global. Kirby follows Bombardier closely and Ranson was at the recent ISTAT meeting, where there was a lot of talk about the Republic Airways order for 40+40 and the potential impacts on Airbus and Boeing.
While I have little confidence in the geared turbofan, you cannot count the CRJ out.
Gary Scott. A man with a mission, and an axe to grind.