Bombardier confirms 160-seat CSeries

Bombardier today confirmed what had been widely reported, that it is offering a 160-seat, high-density version of the CS300.

The company made the announcement in advance of its program update and the “reveal” of the first Flight Test Vehicle (FTV 1) based on the CS100.

The 160-seat model had been rumored for some time before it became public during the Farnborough Air Show last year when AirAsia considered the version. In the end, AirAsia stuck with Airbus and is now has ordered more A320 family members than any other customer.

Bombardier said the high density CS300 is available as a new-order option or as a retrofit. A second overwing exit is required.

airBaltia, a previously announced customer, will configure the CS300 for 148 passengers.

38 Comments on “Bombardier confirms 160-seat CSeries

  1. Key points from today’s presentation:

    – The CS300 fuselage has been slightly stretched to accommodate five more seats. That brings the baseline model from 130 to 135 passengers. (I wonder if that stretch is not a direct consequence of the demand for a high density (160 seat) version, in order to make the latter a bit more comfortable).

    – The MTOW has been increased.

    – Last saturday the CAST wing successfully passed the 115% load test (maximum flight load for certification).

    – The CAST fuselage pressure test had already been successfully completed last December.

    – The first flight software is already running in CIASTA.

    – The pilots are already flying 24/7 in ESIM.

    – The aircraft was displayed without its fairings. They are scheduled to arrive this weekend, as was originally planned.

    – All the wiring has been installed.

    – The actual assembly of the aircraft has gone better than expected.

    – The overall cost of the programme was estimated at $3.4B from the start and apparently that is still on track.

    – Production is going very well in China and quality is even better than expected. They just delivered FTV4 barrels.

    – Lithium-ion batteries had been considered, but was discarded in favour of Ni-Cd because the technology was judged not to be mature enough at the time.

    – The engine was certified in Canada because production engines will be manufactured in Canada.

    – Bombardier considers that a five to six month delay does not mean the aircraft is late.

    With the engine certified and the flight test software already running in CIASTA, things are looking good for a maiden flight before the Paris Air Show!

  2. I’m always amazed by the lack of interest for this airplane ! only one comment !
    Come on, you’ve got 2 new airplane 110 ans 135 pax for less than 4 milliards in developpment costs
    A brand new proposal that can stretch further than 160PAX that looks versatile (think of LCY-JFK from day one !
    And it’s lacking fanboys !
    Cseries is also a game changer…

  3. The additional row of five seats is indeed a brilliant move. It will make an enormous difference in terms CASM, while the trip cost remains the same. And it moves the CSeries one notch closer to the 737 and A320. The additional row of seat actually reminds me of the advantage the 737-8 has over the A320.

    Bombardier was lucky that the push from Air Asia for a high density version came around just before the detailed design phase was ready to be closed. That gave the engineers enough time to stretch the CS300 and add provision for an additional emergency exit door. The latter is now offered has an option and is retrofittable. Absolutely brilliant!

    I am still trying to find something wrong with the CSeries almost five years after it was launched at Farnborough.

    • Is it really the same trip cost as they had projected for the original CS300? Or “nearly” the same trip cost?

      • It’s not clear for me at this time. I think I herd Rob Dewar saying today that CASM was correspondingly lower while trip cost remained the same. But I could be wrong. Or, like you suggest, it could be approximate.

        But the point is that the seat-mile cost is now very close to an A320neo while the trip cost remains lower.

        I did not see the new figures that were issued today, but as we study them we should have a better idea of where the “new” CSeries is positioned on the market.

        Basically what we discovered today is this:

        1- The cabin is longer to allow an additional row of five seats.
        2- The overall fuselage length has been increased.
        3- The MTOW is higher to preserve the 3,000 nm range.
        4- The performances of the aircraft have not changed much.

  4. What comes out of this is that the small delay of five to six months is tied in part to the stretched CS300, in order to allow the CS100 to retain commonality. But Bombardier kept quiet about it until today.

    • It’s a nice surprise, for sure. Well, maybe not so nice for Airbus and Boeing. πŸ™‚

      • It has all been in the brochures for two years. Bombardier just managed to keep the public behind the curve by that much. Which is an accomplishment in itself πŸ˜‰

  5. Airbus has been anticipating CSeries carrying more then 145 passengers from the start. They even said so (Tom Williams). The wing is on the large / heavy side for the CS100.

  6. The thing I found interesting was that during the question and answer session, they said that it’s the launch customer who wants to remain secret so as to surprise its competitors.


    • Maybe the first airplane goes to the Chinese and they don’t feel too comfortable about it?

      • Uhhh… that’s just ignoring what I posted.

        I’m thinking along the lines of say EasyJet to London City or some surprise like that.

  7. The Airbus A319 NEO and Boeing 737-7 MAX look even weaker investments then before in the 150 seat single class segment after this CS300 upgrade. Which is a rather large segment. If the A350-800 is under evaluation, the A319 NEO must be too. If the CS launch customer is a biggy and BBD announced a production rate increase, things can get ugly fast.

  8. Yes, big surprise for the new CS 300 ! What’ next ? An authentic strategic alliance with Comac ? The CS 700 and CS 900 WITH Comac, because they need time, expertise et worldwide network for services ? Why not ?

  9. keesje :
    The Airbus A319 NEO and Boeing 737-7 MAX look even weaker investments then before in the 150 seat single class segment after this CS300 upgrade.

    The 737-700 MAX will probably stay in the catalogue for a while, like the 737-600 did. Then it will disappear due to a lack of interest. It might take a while though. Not because Boeing has any hope of selling it, but just to save face.

    As for the A319neo it looks like it’s going to end up like the A318: a high end business jet, with no real future as a commercial aircraft.

    But that does not necessarily means the interest for the segment is disappearing. The way I see it is that it does not make sense to buy the A319 when the CSeries is available. It would not be perceived as a sound corporate decision. Unless the A319 is heavily discounted and used to block the CSeries.

    Before Embraer came out with the E-Jet, the segment around 100 seats was considered a “black hole”. Due to the success of the E-Jet the black hole segment had to be moved up. But that new black hole is also going to disappear into a parallel universe when the CSeries enters service.

    That misconception was developed simply because no competitive products existed for a long while between 75 and 150 passengers. As far as I am concerned the E-Jet and the CSeries have destroyed that myth.

    For anyone who understands the laws of physics, a black hole is a very attractive vacuum. And because the CSeries has no competition in its segment it can be viewed as a gravitational singularity.

    • The ‘black hole’ owes its existence to scope clauses, which also resulted in E-Jets and CRJs being employed below design seat capacities.

    • Normand Hamel :
      For anyone who understands the laws of physics, a black hole is a very attractive vacuum. And because the CSeries has no competition in its segment it can be viewed as a gravitational singularity.


      • Yeah, but nothing gets back out of the event horizon ;-?
        ( Black Holes actually are pretty massive if stable the smaller ones evaporate )

  10. Guru Josh :
    It has all been in the brochures for two years. Bombardier just managed to keep the public behind the curve by that much.

    The surprise was the additional row of five seats that brings the baseline model to 135 seats. As for the high density 160 seater, it was anticipated by most observers. But with the fuselage stretch, the 160 seats will be relatively comfortable, because with the new “slim seat” the pitch is a decent 29 1/2″. Very interesting indeed.

    • For this category of aircraft a comfortable 150 seat cabin with seats at 31-32 inch or 140 in a two class configuration seems more worrying for A&B.

      The light F100 could have become the king of 80-120 seats, but Dutch government refused to support the company to the extend Brazil, France, Italy and Germany were willing to go.

      Soon after Fokkers bankruptcy the market boomed and Embraer took over. The RR Tay engines were not as good as the CF34s. Fokker remained pretty stubborn & proud too during the process wich didn’t help.

      IMO Embraers new winged & engined E195/E200 or whatever it will become will probably force Bombardier up too. The CS100 can very well become a 767-200, A350-800, A319, 737-7..

      • I remember the Fokker 100 for deafening noise in the rear, for catching a cold near the rear emergency exit while not knowing where to put one’s feet, for pretty stiff wings, for flying low and slow. That plane was no match for the E-Jet.

        A re-egnined and re-winged E-Jet will be no match for the CSeries simply because the CSeries for the same length of fuselage will have 25% more seats. Hard to get anywhere near the CSeries in CASM.

        Embraer can either chose to fight it out with the rest of the regional jet bunch in the 4-abreast league or spend really big money on an all-new airplane with a 5-abreast fuselage only 10 years after E-Jet EIS. Financially, not so much of a choice.

        Bombardier made a smart strategic move by going for 5-abreast.

      • I would have liked to also see the CS100 with an additional row of five seats. But it was too late I suppose.

  11. KDX the F100 is very quiet inside & gives a smooth ride. Outside, wellt he BPR says it all.

    Re new E jet being no match for CSeries CASM, take into account an E195 has the same number of seats as the CS100, has a smaller frontal area, weighs 10,000 lbs less, will have slightly newer wings and lighter engines, no middle seats and has a lower lists price. Take it from there πŸ˜‰

    I’m a CSeries chearleader but we have to remain objective.

    • The F100 is deafening inside if you happen to sit anywhere behind the wing. The more you fly the F100, the less of a problem it becomes πŸ˜‰
      The E195 doesn’t get anywhere near the CS100 in range. It’s like comparing CRJs with E-Jets. Different leagues of aircraft in range.

  12. Apparently the right engines weren’t there yet for the F100 in the mid eighties.. The airframe is still way lighter then he E190 and CS100, but who cares..

    The E195 hasn’t the range of the CS100, 3000NM. I don’t know the routes with 100-120 passengers..

    I we look at E jet sales, the E190 is the champion and average seat capacity increases. I think Embraer will end up with a E180- E190- E200 portfolio.

    • The ‘right engines’, i.e. high bypass ratio engines, due to their size and weight are not suitable for tail installation. The DC-9/F100/ARJ21/Tu-334/CRJ configuration is no longer competitive.

      What’s the stretch limit seat capacity of a 4-abreast airplane?

  13. keesje :
    I don’t see a reason for no high BPR engines in the tail.

    The B717’s BR.725 engine has a BPR of 4.4 with a 50in fan diameter. Now try to make that BPR12-14 with 80 inch fan diameter.

    CROR would add more diameter, more weight, noise fatigue, vibration, gyration, pylon wake, prop governor and blade-loss issues – if there was anyone to build a CROR engine to begin with. Imagine an A400M engine scaled to twice the shaft horsepower.

    • the Tay has a BPR of 3.1, the CF34-3 (crj) of 6 and CF34-10 (E jet) of 5. Makes a big difference in sfc and noise. Embraer is redesigning the wing to allow bigger BPR’s. They have to, to match the high BPR GTFs offer for the CSeries. Likely Embraer will dominate 80 up to 130 seats and Bombardier 120 upto 160 seats, with overlap in the middle. Embraer avoided fighting Airbus and Boeing directly.

      • If we go by noise, the props would have to grow really big to become acceptable.
        From a technical feasibility and risk standpoint a solution with 4 wing-mounted engines and 4 smaller props appears to be more attractive to me (assuming 150-220 seat aircraft size). Of course, the total propulsive efficiency would be inferior compared to 2 large engines with 2 large props.
        However, overall the next generation of geared turbofans looks too promising to take any risk with CROR.

      • A few yrs ago Spoke with a famous Sir who was trying to start up a passenger aircraft business based on this principle. The technology seems familiar with gearboxes used in helicopters.

  14. KDX125 :
    If we go by noise, geared turbofans looks too promising to take any risk with CROR.

    KDX, the beginning of your first sentence tied with the end of your last sentence gives the above “quote”. I hope you will like it.

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