Bombardier: On its earnings call. the company is preparing the market for a 3-5 month delay on the first flight of the CSeries. We’ve been estimating 3-6 months.
Air Canada: Here’s an interesting item. Air Canada is pondering major fleet changes that might see the removal of the Embraer E-190 as too big yet it is considering adding the CRJ-900, which is nominally just a little smaller.
AirAsia X: This LCC for long-haul is adding six Airbus A330s to its fleet, to bring the total to 26 when all aircraft on order are delivered. AirAsiaX considers the airplane ideal for flights of six to eight hours.
Whether passengers think Air Asia’s A330s are ideal airplanes is another matter. They squeeze in 365 economy class seats – 9 across, 31inch seat pitch. And they still have space left over for a “premium” class!
I highly doubt that any of the passengers have been forced onboard, and I guess some 85% (if not 100%) of the passengers did choose Air Asia because they could offer the best price – and prioritized that higher than comfort.
A couple of weeks ago I was on a business trip to US again, and due to weather my flight was slightly delayed, and I had to connect with AA – it was an old McD(82?), the business cabin was like a worn out shoe, and I felt I was sitting on the floor. And that wasn’t cheap.
The logic behind the possible retirement of the E-190s lies in the contract with the pilots’ union: the AC regional carriers are limited to a maximum of 75 seats, exactly what the CRJ-705 and CRJ-900 have (65Y + 10J). The E-190 is too big to be operated by the regional carriers.
Getting rid of both the E-190s and A319s seems to set the stage for a possible strategy of using the CSeries in the 100-150 seat segment. BBD can probably find early enough delivery slots for AC, too.
I recall that when Air Canada purchased the Brazilian aircraft they were able to benefit from export financing. If they go with Bombardier and the CSeries they will not be able to benefit from any form of export financing because AC is in the same country as the manufacturer.
The above considerations aside, the CSeries would be a logical replacement for both the E-190 and A319, with a mix fleet of CS100 and CS300. And like you mentioned thysi, AC will be able to secure deliveries at the most convenient time for them.
This would be a wonderful opportunity for Bombardier to book their largest order yet, because AC plans to replace up to 38 A319, as well as 45 E-190. And what the CSeries needs most right now is a large order from a prominent international carrier.
EMB is thinking about retiring the E-170/175, not the E-190/E-195. The US with their unwise scope clauses is only part of the global market. Moreover, the E-190 has a bigger wing and is more suitable to re-engining.
Judged by the state of assembly, I’d say the CSeries is more like 6-9 months late