July 2, 2018, © Leeham News: Airbus officially became the majority partner yesterday of the C Series Aircraft Limited Partnership, or CSALP.
Airbus has a 50.01% stake in the LP, with Bombardier and the province of Quebec holding minority stakes.
Things will move quickly, now that Airbus has control.
Airbus is expected to announce a rebranding of the C Series at its July 10 pre-Farnborough Air Show media briefing. An aircraft is in the process of being repainted in Airbus colors for display at the event.
Bloomberg reported in April new names were to be assigned to the CS100 and CS300, probably the A210 and A230 respectively.
Construction of the new C Series Final Assembly Line in Mobile (AL) will begin sooner than expected. This was announced at the Inaugural Southeast Aerospace & Defence Conference in Mobile, organized by Leeham Co. and Airfinance Journal.
Rob Dewar, who last week was VP and GM of the C Series program for Bombardier, announced that construction of the FAL will begin this year. BBD officials originally said it won’t begin until next year.
Dewar, who is this week now Head of Customer Support and Head of Engineering for the airplane program, said the first delivery from the Mobile plant will be in mid-2020.
When asked if that first delivery will be to Delta Air Lines, Dewar said it would be to a US customer.
A start-up, Moxy Airlines, plans to order 60 CS300s with the first delivery in 2020, according to its business plan. No order has been announced, though with the Farnborough Air Show beginning in two weeks, perhaps an MOU or LOI might be forthcoming.
JetBlue and Spirit Airlines in the US are known to be hot prospects. JetBlue won’t be ready by Farnborough, it said, to decide between the Embraer E-Jet E2 or the CS300. This decision is expected by year-end. Spirit’s timetable is unknown.
Dewar also announced that the C Series is burning about 3% less fuel than advertised. Drag, electrical outtake and bleed air each came in about 1% less than forecast, based on operating results from Air Baltic and Swiss.
A software/paperwork change is forthcoming to reflect these differences.
Additionally, Dewar to me on the sidelines of the conference that engine performance improvements of 5% will come over a 3-4 year period. He declined to provide a starting date.
As it happens, the C Series program was launch 10 years ago July 13 at Farnborough by the Lufthansa Group.
Then-president of Bombardier Commercial, Gary Scott, presented the airplane to Lufthansa. The order was followed by one from the USA’s Republic Airways Holdings, which then owned Frontier Airlines. Republic ordered 40+40 CS300s, intended for Frontier, which at the time exclusively operated the Airbus A319 and A320. The CS300 is the same size as the A319.
The Republic order spurred Airbus to launch the A320neo, which in turn prompted Boeing to launch the 737 MAX. The Embraer E2 followed.
“This Farnborough marks the 10th anniversary of that event which changed the single aisle landscape,” one industry observer noted to LNC last week. “Lufthansa then followed with a commitment for the NEO including engine choice driving the GTF timeline. Unfortunately, some issues prevented timely deliveries of all models as Pratt and CFM were both having issues.”
LNC’s Bjorn Fehrm will be at the July 10 Airbus media day and we’ll both be at Farnborough, reporting on plans for the C Series and other news.