Bombardier’s missed opportunity for the CS500

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Introduction
May 29, 2017, © Leeham Co.: Boeing worries that if left unchecked, Bombardier will launch the often-talked about CS500, a 160-189 passenger concept that would compete directly with Boeing’s 737-800 and MAX 8.

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Boeing alleges that Bombardier sold Delta Air Lines 75 CS100s at $19.6m, amounting to price dumping because of Canadian government “subsidies” received in a bailout. Boeing told the US International Trade Commission in a May 24 closing brief that Bombardier, in essence, will become the next Airbus if the ITC doesn’t nothing to penalize Bombardier by slapping 79% tariffs on the Delta aircraft. As a result, Bombardier stands to drive Boeing out of business and with it, the US aerospace industry. There are a couple of key flaws in this argument.
Summary
  • Bombardier missed its greatest opportunity to develop the CS500 as a competitive airplane to the 737 (and the Airbus A320).
  • Boeing claims the CS500 will kill the 737-800. But this model is slated to go out of production by 2019, long before the CS500 could enter service.
  • Boeing’s argument assumes the 737 MAX is a long-term airplane. In reality, the New Small Airplane is just around the corner, so-to-speak—which should surpass the economics of the CS500.

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