Republic Airways Holdings, a launch customer for the Bombardier CSeries with 40 orders and 40 options for the CS300–the order that prompted Airbus to proceed with the A320neo program, which itself forced Boeing into the 737 MAX–once again raised doubts about the future of its order.
In its 3Q2014 earnings call Oct. 29, on the eve of Bombardier’s own 3Q call on Oct. 30, Republic CEO Bryan Bedford said two carrier certificates would be needed for Republic to operate the CSeries. Republic is moving toward one certificate from multiple certificates to cut costs and simplify operations.
In a transcript of the earnings call prepared by Seeking Alpha, Bedford addressed the CSeries in response to an analyst question:
Michael Linenberg – Deutsche Bank
Good morning, everybody. Bryan, I want to go back to the comment that you made about getting to a single operating certificate by the end of 2016. Based on your agreements with your partners, would that single operating certificate allow you to put the CSeries on it?
Okay, so you would still, in order to take deliver the CSeries, you would still have to maintain two certificates, is that fair?
That would be right.
The entire transcript may be found here. The discussion precedes the above segment.
Bedford’s comments come a mere 20 days after BBD took one of the CS100 Flight Test Vehicles to Republic’s HQ in Indianapolis (IN), where Bedford sang the praises of the CSeries in a BBD video (above).
Bedford has, in many respects, been as damning to Bombardier and the CSeries as has Qatar Airways’ CEO, Akbar Al-Baker, has been about the Airbus A320neo, the A380, the A350 and the Boeing 787.
Bombardier’s 3Q earnings call is today at 5am EDT. Bedford’s latest comments are sure to come up.
Republic ordered the airplanes when it owned Frontier Airlines, but when Frontier was sold, the orders did not go with the sale. We understand there is a large cancellation penalty in the Republic contract. Republic could work with BBD to resell the slots–and there are potential customers asking for them–but reselling the slots would not help BBD’s backlog. Still, if the slots are resold and the backlog is maintained, the changing Republic business model should mitigate any perceived black eye for BBD.