C Series: challenges ahead

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Bombardier CS300 (L) and CS100 (R). Click on image to enlarge. Photo via Google images.

Aug. 10, 2015, (c) Leeham Co. Bombardier came away from the Paris Air Show with positive reviews after finally displaying its new C Series. The CS100 was present in launch operator Swiss International colors and the spacious interior installed. The larger CS300, in house colors, was also on display and performed flying maneuvers, impressing the crowd with the quiet of the Pratt & Whitney P1000G Geared Turbo Fan engines, also a new product. Once airborne and circling around the runway, the engines could not be heard over the loud speakers of the show's announcer.

BBD officials came away encouraged by response to the airplanes and they said potential customers were stopping by the chalet with new and renewed interest in the program.

But there remain formidable challenges ahead for the program. There were no sales announced at the Air Show, although BBD officials were clear in advance none was expected. None has been announced in the six weeks since the Air Show. Whether there will be any of substance by year end, and to whom, remains to be seen.

Focus is on execution: getting the aircraft certified by year end and preparing for delivery to Swiss in the first half of next year.

But the customer base remains of iffy quality and a number of the deliveries scheduled 2016-2018 fall into Leeham Co.'s Yellow and Risk Risk Assessment.


  • Of nearly 200 deliveries scheduled 2106-1018, more than half fall within our Yellow-Red risk assessment.
  • Country and region risk are concerns.
  • A major customer has a changing business plan that puts deliveries into a Risk Assessment.

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