Chinese Lessor for CSeries: Bombardier today announced the identity of a previously undisclosed customer for the CSeries, and it is important for two reasons: one, it’s a lessor, and two, it’s from China.
CDB Leasing Co. signed a conditional order for five CS100s and 10 CS300s, with 15 options, in 2012. The press release infers this is now a purchase order, but the wording is somewhat ambiguous:
Bombardier Aerospace announced today that CDB Leasing Co., Ltd. (CLC), one of China’s top leasing companies, is the previously announced undisclosed customer that signed a conditional purchase agreement for five CS100 and 10 CS300 jetliners. The purchase agreement also includes options on an additional five CS100 and 10 CS300 aircraft, for a total of up to 30 CSeries aircraft. This agreement was initially announced as a conditional order from an undisclosed customer for five CS100 and 10 CS300 jetliners on July 8, 2012.
BBD’s Mike Arcamone’s interview with the Globe and Mail suggests this is now a firm purchase contract. We received word from BBD that this remains a conditional order. The “conditional” part remains undisclosed.
CLC is the second lessor, after LCI, to order the CSeries. The fact that this order is from China is also important. BBD has a significant presence in China for production of Q400 fuselage segments and part of the CSeries fuselage is to be produced in China, though start-up has been difficult and the first fuselage sections were back-stopped and produced at BBD’s Belfast plant. The absence of a Chinese customer raised a number of questions with some observers, which are now answered to some degree, who will nonetheless seek additional Chinese orders (as well as more orders overall) now that the first flight has taken place.
Separately, this story in the Montreal Gazette provides the most comprehensive look at the CSeries test program since first flight September 16. BBD hasn’t said much about the testing since first flight, and the plane has only flown twice more.
Delta vs Alaska: The schedule ramp-up by Delta Air Lines into Seattle, in competition with its marketing partner Alaska Airlines, continues to draw attention with the media.