Pontifications: Writing had been on the wall for years for Q400 sale; CRJ is next

By Scott Hamilton

Nov. 12, 2018, © Leeham News: The writing had really been on the wall for the past few years, regardless what the corporate line was: Bombardier was one day going to sell the Q400 program or shut it down.

Better to sell it and get at least some money out of it, no matter how small.

Bombardier agreed to sell the program to British Columbia-based Viking Air for a mere $300m–$250m, net of fees.

Ditto the CRJ program. It’s on life support. It’s a design dating to the 1980s, the passenger experience has long been eclipsed by the Embraer E-Jet and it will be also by Mitsubishi’s MRJ when this jet finally comes on line in 2020.

Saved by the Scope

The entire reason for the continued existence of the CRJ in recent years has been the US Scope Clause. The original E-175 complies with Scope, which is the clause in US pilot labor contracts with American, Delta, United and Alaska airlines that limits the size, weight, number of passengers and number of airplanes regional airline partners can operate for their major partner.

In this context, the weight is the key metric. The Scope limits airplane weight to 86,000 lbs. The E175-E2 and Mitsubishi MRJ90, conditionally ordered by the USA’s Skywest and Trans States airlines for operation on behalf of their partners, weigh too much. It’s only a few thousand pounds. Embraer and Mitsubishi counted on contract relief in the 2019 and 2020 negotiations, but the unions signaled they have no intention of granting this small concession.

The CRJ900 complies with Scope. It also has a solid, installed customer base in the US. These two factors are keeping the program alive. (There have been a few orders outside the US.)

Back-up plans

Embraer’s back-up to being unable to confirm the E175-E2 deal is to continue with the E175-E1 (as it is now called). Mitsubishi’s back-up is to switch the MRJ90 orders to the smaller, Scope-compliant MRJ70. This was confirmed at an event last month in New York.

Bombardier’s back-up plan to keep the CRJ viable in the face of these new technology, more comfortable passenger-experience competitors appears to be to sue Mitsubishi for trade secret theft because it hired Bombardier engineers. (It also hired some Embraer people.)

The lawsuit, filed in Seattle last month (Mitsubishi has flight testing and engineering facilities in Washington State), claimed people with knowledge of the CSeries and Global corporate jet programs left Bombardier for Mitsubishi, taking trade secrets with them.

Mitsubishi denies the claims.

Since the MRJ in no way competes with the CSeries (now the Airbus A220) or the Global jets, the threat really is a competitive or superior airplane to the CRJ.

If Bombardier were to succeed in the lawsuit, I hypothesize the bet is that the costs the MRJ program would threaten the commercial viability and maybe Mitsubishi would drop the program—thus saving the CRJ and making it potentially viable for Bombardier to keep the program or, more likely, pump the price for sale.

Déjà vu all over again

This sounds like a page out of the Boeing strategy to kill the CSeries when it filed a complaint with the US Department of Commerce over alleged unfair trade practices. Boeing prevailed at Commerce, which proposed a 292% tariff. The International Trade Commission, which had to determine in Boeing suffered harm, unanimously ruled it didn’t, thus killing the case.

Ironically, it was the trade complaint that forced Bombardier to sell 50.01% of the CSeries program to Airbus. This gave Airbus an advantage in the single-aisle sector. Boeing and Embraer proposed a joint venture to combine Embraer Commercial with Boeing in a new company, giving Boeing (and Embraer) a new way to compete with Airbus and the CSeries.

Limited future

I have no way to judge the merits of the Bombardier lawsuit, but I can judge the future of the CRJ.

By 2025, the design will be more than 30 years old. Although Bombardier rejigged the interior with its new Atmosphere cabin design, which is nice, a cramped cabin is still a cramped cabin and the EJet and MRJ cabins are much more spacious.

The E1 economics are pretty close to the CRJ’s in our analysis and the E2 is better, as is the MRJ70. The CRJ can’t be re-engined. The Pratt & Whitney and GE Passport engines weigh more than the CRJ’s GE34 engines and the airplane already has weight-and-balance challenges under some flying conditions. (A recent flight I was on had to play musical chairs before we could leave the gate to get weight-and-balance right.)

Reengining the CRJ would exacerbate center-of-gravity issues.

The CRJ, with more than 1,500 sales over its life, served Bombardier and its customer well. But without a new engine, and with a design that’s more than 30 years old next decade, its day is coming to an end.

Oliver Wyman, the consulting firm, in its 10 year forecast sees more MRJ deliveries than CRJ.

Bombardier loses money on every CRJ it sells, its CEO admitted last week on the earnings call—as it does with the Q400.

Like the Q400, Bombardier needs to sell the program for whatever it can get. Time is fast running out.

63 Comments on “Pontifications: Writing had been on the wall for years for Q400 sale; CRJ is next

  1. Regarding: “…Scope, which is the clause in US pilot labor contracts with US pilot labor contracts with American, Delta, United and Alaska airlines that limits the size, weight, number of passengers and number of airplanes regional airline partners can operate for their major partner.”

    According to the Wikipedia article on scope clauses at the link below, Alaska Airlines does not have scope clauses. Is that not true?


    • According to the article at the link below, which is cited as a reference by the Wikipedia scope clause article, Alaska Airline pilots sought a scope clause during arbitration for their most recent contract; however, the arbitrators did not grant their request for a scope clause.

      “Arbitrators declined to award a scope clause to the pilots of Alaska Airlines, against the wishes of ALPA. According to reports, arbitrators decided that Alaska Airlines had not violated the spirit of the proposed scope of a 76-seat limit for regional aircraft. Arbitrators believe that the scope issue is complex and is best suited to direct negotiation between ALPA and Alaska rather than a decision from a panel of arbitrators. Such a negotiation will be possible in 2020, when the current pilot contract expires.


      • hopefully, when a scope clause is formalized with Alaska, it is just a straightforward max installed seats/max segment length (i.e. 76 seats/1000 NMI) formula rather than the idiotic MTOW + seats + bad upholstery + tiny soda cans formula.

        that could set the pattern for the other airlines allowing them to upgrade to modern equipment while protecting the mainline pilot salaries.

        question: why hasn’t the ALPA unionized the “regional” pilots? they get absolutely screwed on pay and working conditions. I get that they are generally “in training” for a job at a major, but they still have the lives of 76 people in their hands and work some seriously heinous schedules for almost no money.

      • Thanks AP, was wondering with Boeing’s involvement in EMB if their could be pressure on the Pilots Union to review the conditions for the 175E2 to make the weight cut”?

        If the MRJ70 survives and/or rules get adapted for the 175E2 to be accepted under the rules the future of the CRJ is not great.

        • Hello Anton,

          Regarding: “…was wondering with Boeing’s involvement in EMB if their could be pressure on the Pilots Union to review the conditions for the 175E2 to make the weight cut.”

          I think Boeing has zero influence on US pilot contract negotiations. I think US pilots could not care less about any opinions Boeing has on how much they should be being paid, or what terms they should be negotiating.

          Many US pilots are furious about pay and benefit cuts they took when US airlines were on hard times and declaring bankruptcy, in part to void union contracts, and they are in no mood to give concessions on scope clauses or anything else now that airlines are having record profits and regionals are having trouble hiring pilots because of the bad rep the industry got after years of bankruptcies, layoffs, and pay cuts.

          Example – In 2015 Delta offered their pilots a 21 percent raise over three years. Sound good? It wasn’t good enough, they rejected that offer and ended up with a 30 percent raise over three years. The excerpts below are from the 9-30-16 Atlanta Journal-Constitution article at the link after the excerpts.

          “Delta Air Lines and its pilots union on Friday said they have reached a deal on a new labor contract.

          The agreement in principle comes after months of mediation and informational picketing by pilots pushing for higher pay. Atlanta-based Delta has about 13,000 pilots.

          In recent talks, the company had proposed a 27 percent pay boost over four years, while the union sought a 31 percent raise over three years. Pilots have said they want to recover from pay cuts during the company’s past financial challenges and bankruptcy, now that Delta is making billions of dollars in profits.”

          This is the second round of talks to reach a deal. A previous contract agreement reached last year — which included raises of more than 21 percent over three years — was rejected in voting by rank-and-file pilots.

          “Issues with pay, profit sharing and sick leave were among the concerns raised by pilots who voted against that proposed contract. The defeat led to a change in union leadership and Malone’s election as union chairman.”


        • See below for what officials of the American, Delta and United Airlines pilots unions have said about scope clause relief. These are exceprts from the 3-29-18 FlightGlobal article at the link after the excerpts. By my reading, the common theme of these comments is: “over our dead bodies”. Maybe Embraer and Mitsubishi should have listened more to the pilots unions, and less to airline executives, when designing what were supposed to be the next generation of regional aircraft.

          “If American wants to fly more large regional jets, we’ll be happy to fly them at the mainline,” says the APA, adding that scope concessions are a non-starter for the union.”

          “We will not be looking to grant concessions to [Delta] in any section of our working agreement, including scope, and are presently in protracted JV-related negotiations that involve improving scope protections,” says captain Bill Bartels, chairman of the Delta master executive council at ALPA.”

          “[United] doesn’t need scope relief and has the ability to accomplish our growth strategy today,” said Todd Insler, chairman of the ALPA United master executive council, in a letter to pilots after Kirby’s remarks this month. He pointed to the clause allowing more large regional jets in exchange for a small mainline narrowbody as an example of this.”


  2. The CRJ is being referee to as a single fleet, and there are some in accurately presented facts, for example the economics of the MRJ7 and the E1 are comparable to the 900, and the W+B issues are only present on the 200, (since it is just a stretched CL60, it suffers from a toward CG issue) the other 3 aircraft the 700, 900, and 1000 (1000 is not flown in the U.S. because of scope) don’t have the CG issue. A direct comparison to the E1 and the MRJ7 is the CRJ900. To include the whole range of the CRJ fleet in a comparison to the E1 and the MRJ7, is deceptive and looks more like Ike an article written to present an opinion as fact, and not an unbiased analysis of the market.

  3. E175-E1 also has significant weight and balance issues. I’ve seen musical chairs played on that aircraft far more frequently than on a CRJ. Fortunately this has resulted in frequent upgrades to business class. 🙂

    • Interesting, I must have been on about 200 flights on an E175 and have yet to see that happening. Given that it has two major cargo holds, you’d think that an airline can easily solve any W&B issues with properly loading the bags.

      • Hello Burt Loml,

        Regarding: ” I must have been on about 200 flights on an E175 and have yet to see that happening.”

        That is my experience also. Over dozens of flights on CRJ’s and E-Jets, I have several times seen last minute requests to move bags or people around the cabin in CRJ’s, but never on E-Jets. As you mention, the E-Jets have cargo compartments both in front of and behind the wing, so weight and balance issues can normally be addressed by shifting baggage between the forward and aft cargo bays without the passengers ever knowing about it. The CRJ’s have only one cargo compartment, which is behind the passenger cabin, thus if a heavy baggage/cargo load has the cg too far aft ,there is no forward cargo compartment to move baggage to, and instead weight must be moved forward inside the cabin. If memory serves me correctly, last minute bag or people shifting which I have encountered on CRJ’s always involved moving bags or people forward. In some cases bags were taken out of the cargo compartment and put in the forward cabin.

        • Doing an internet search on CRJ weight and balance, I found several posts by people who were asked to move on CRJ’s for weight and balance, and they were all moved to the back of the plane instead of forward. Perhaps my memory about people and things being moved forward is in error, or maybe I tend to travel to places where people have unusually heavy baggage?

          • The weight/balance issues are probably common to all small passenger jets. Especially when they are designed for a larger passenger load than allowed on Scope clause air carriers.
            Bjorn did a story some time back of the repostioned wing on the ‘closed loop FBW’ E2 series
            They ride much ‘rougher’ in air turbulence as well. Solution book your flight on A310 or B737-700

          • Hello Dukeofurl,

            Regarding: “The weight/balance issues are probably common to all small passenger jets.”

            All aircraft have to be loaded properly; however, on airliners with forward and aft cargo compartments under the cabin floor, such as all mainline airliners and the E-Jet series, one moves baggage between the forward and aft cargo compartments to resolve weight and balance issues, instead of having to resort to moving passengers around the cabin, as will sometimes be necessary in an aircraft, like the CRJ 200 and most small private planes, that have only one baggage compartment.

            Continuing to spend much more time than I should reading about CRJ weight and balance on the internet, I discovered that the CRJ 700/900/1000 have a small baggage compartment under the forward cabin floor, big enough only for carry on bags, in addition to the behind the cabin baggage compartment. This must help immensely in achieving proper weight and balance by moving baggage instead of passengers, but does not seem to be well loved by baggage handlers.

            “I hate to say it is perfect for “carry ons” because it is a pain in the ass loading and unloading the forward pit.

            Sure they fit just fine, but it takes more effort to load them up front than it does to stack them in the back. ”

            “There are also caged in wire bundle protectors…those get damaged and bags get hung up on those very often. It’s a really tight space, and it’s hard on the back standing inside the doorway and loading bags in it. I am 5 foot 9 tall, and the top of the doorway space is about 5 foot 5 off the ground. So you have to stand under the doorway and crouch, and load the bags in. Have bumped my head many times on the metal studs that hold the door in place when it is shut.

            Awful design, I hate loading and unloading bags in that bin.”


          • On a lightly loaded DC10 flight many years ago
            myself and other passengers were asked to move around the cabin ( cant remember if it was forward or back) for takeoff only.
            Fuel is of course the heaviest item of the payload, so Id think passengers themselves are way down the weight list

        • Having flown 100+ flights between YYZ and EWR on E-jets, I will say that moving pax around for weight balance has not been an infrequent event, though somewhat less so recently. As it often resulted in a move to the front cabin for m, I didn’t mind this so much!

          • … and I just had another weight-balance upgrade to the front cabin on an E175 last night! Not complaining, mind you!

  4. Interesting that Bombardier is suing Mitsubishi on that. I personally know of several engineers hired by Bombardier directly from Embraer about 12 years ago. They even had a major recruiting event and flew candidates from Sao Jose dos Campos to Buenos Aires for interviews.

    • If that lawsuit becomes problematic Mitsubishi could sell 50,01% of the MRJ program to Airbus for 1.000 yen.

      • ¥1000 seems pretty expensive… I jest.

        An interesting dynamic in the calculations companies will be doing focuses on the USA. Basically Japanese politics and business is a little bit spooked by the trade and WestPac defence policies of Trump’s administration. There are signs that they’re casting around for arrangements with non-US countries and companies, kinda like a plan B. A Mitsubishi tie up with the low-aggrevation friendly European Airbus isn’t such a crazy idea in that context.

        • Would be funny if that becomes the result of BBD choice for a legal battle.

          Maybe more important:
          Boeing and Embraer (potentially) tying the knot, kind of forces Mitsubishi to look for a (different) partner.

          • Yep, that’s a strong factor too. If Airbus and Mitsubishi do tie the knot, makes it easier to sell Airbuses to Japan.

    • They are not suing for the hiring engineers away from BBD. They are suing because those engineers took information with them.

  5. The question is why would anyone buy the CRJ?

    You might make a minor business out of parts for some time (limited future timeline).

    Viking would have zero use for it (sans a few bucks for the parts end)

    For the Q400, they need to get a big tax break from Washington state and build it there!

      • Mitsubishi is most likely buyer, as they have an ideal CRJ replacement ‘slowly’ going through certification but need actual build and maintenance experience. Allows them to keep CRJ in production till Scope is changed. Solves the lawsuit issue as well as they get the IP they desperately need

          • Thats what Bombardiers lawsuit is about – IP.

            Plus Mitsubishi has zero knowledge of how to support airline customers, and they get the chance to buy an existing manufacturing and support business

          • @dukeofurl
            That lawsuit is not over IP.
            It’s about trade secrets. Just like the Xavian vs Boeing lawsuit.

            Off topic, thumbs up for your online name.

    • That in not a 190-E2.
      It was coming off a “c” check. No E2 that old.


      Embraer 190/195 – MSN 653 – P4-KCJ
      Airline Air Astana
      Status : Active
      Registration : P4-KCJ

      • I stand corrected. I mis read AA fleet types

        You are indeed correct, thank you for catching that.

  6. “The CRJ can’t be re-engined.”
    the 14,500 lbf GE34 weighs 1.1t and consumes 0.675 lb/lbf/h in cruise, 0.39 at takeoff.
    The 1.04t, 12,000 lbf Silvercrest may grow its thrust by 21% but its development is problematic, looks promising though.
    The 16,000 lbf PW800 weighs 1.4t and may be a good candidate (10% better SFC than competitors claimed).
    The 16,900 lbf BR725 weighs 1.6t and consumes 0.657 lb/lbf/h, 3% less than the CF34 (not worth it, but with the RR Pearl update maybe)
    The 18,900 lbf Passport weighs 2.1t and is too heavy (8% lower TSFC than the BR725 though)

    Doable but Weight&Balance problematic, maybe need a wing/fuselage re-positioning but it wouldn’t be a simple re-engine then.

    • Wrong sort of engines in right thrust range. Those are business jet engines designed for around 400-500 hr use per year, mostly in long range cruise. Whats needed is an engine designed for 5- 10k hrs per year in short hops with lots of take off-climbs.
      That heavy duty use can be engineered in of course- but the CF-34 can be engineered with newer technologies, which I understand has been happening

  7. In some other news, Air Asia is at it again, Tony supposedly steps back, replaced at least in direct control. The new A330NEO orders are not firm.


    Add in that they are still considering 787 (A330NEO too big?) and that they are still thinking about transferring single aisle orders in place of wide body.

    Of course that in turn is, from the so called Firm group?

    And worries about the engines (negotiating ploy? – close to being solved by the time they take delivery)

    • Thanks, if you go down the article there is a link describing an engine choice for the C929. Looks as if they will go the one engine supplier route, either GEnx or T7000, wonder if politics will play a role. However also seems to be a home grown engine in future.

      The AirAsiaX 339 order/s still likely to be a moving template for a long time. Won’t surprize me if they go for 789’s for longer range routes as it will be more comfortable in 9 abreast as an 339 in 9 abreast, the 339 then used for higher density inter-Asia routes?

      Pure speculation but can see the A339 “firm” order an MOU going down from 100 to 50 and convertions to 100 (?) A321/(X)? Won’t be good news for the 330NEO program.

  8. Lots of focus is on the 70-100 seat market, but I was wondering what the future of the 40-70 seat market is. The ERJ140/145 and CRJ200/(700-almost) out of production.

    See ~720 CRJ200’s still operational, ERJ numbers more difficult to determine but 890 ERJ145’s produced. So the market for aircraft with around 50 seats not insignificant, the ATR42 the nearest to that that is still in production.

    Only time will tell but there is a potential 1000-1500 aircraft market for 50 seaters? Will it be a high performance prop or jet, engines the key, also this is potentially the market where we could see the first “large” electric powered aircraft?

    50 Seat jets often has appeal for one day business trips, first one out in the morning and last one in at night, quick boarding and de-planning key, flights seldom more than 2 hours.

    If there was a new tech ~10Klb engine in the making an CRJ200NEO for example could potentially have rescued the CRJ program (if BBD wanted to be in the airliner business).

  9. Put a new engine on the CRJ will not fix the issue of having a smallish fuselage.
    It’s a derivate of the business jets and thus lacking as the design was abused.
    I can’t see any chance Bombadier is going for a sucessor – this would have been the CS and it wasn’t able to survive with.
    With the E2 jets arround – and the E1 jets itself have a better design already – and another new designed competitor entering, I can’t see how Bombadier could get along with an update or sucessor. There’s not enough market nor does Bombadier have the financial – and engineering capabilities left.

    The CRJ is not selling, who should buy it?
    The CRJ is not profitable, which value shall it have?

    It’s just the CRJ 900 that has some orders open, about 50. They will be built and then it will be history.

  10. If the CRJ program has has a future it is at the low end. There are still over 500 CRJ-200’s flying and and has no competitor in that space. Either those routes stay with the smaller CRJ’s go Turboprop or up-gauge.

    The CRJ-200 uses the 9,200 lbf CF34-3. Naively it could be replaced by the slightly lighter Silvercrest gaining performance, efficiency (and range?).

    • Its the future of the ~50 seat market that interest me, lots of airlines likely to up-gauge to 70-75 seaters, doesn’t sound much but that’s about 50% more seats.

      Looking at MTOW’s of 50 seat aircraft vs 75 seaters highlights the substantial differences between the 2 classes;

      ATR42-600: 19T,
      ERJ145: 23T,
      CRJ200: 24T,
      CRJ900: 38T,
      MRJ70: 40T,
      175E1: 40T,
      175E2: 45T.

      So is the 50 seat market dead or an opportunity the revive the CRJ program with an CRJ200X, possibly use the -900’s wing, engines the biggest challenge, and you can’t change the fuselage.

      Or is this an opportunity for EMB to build a new small jet with seating around 50 seats, market requirement most likely exceeds an 1000, especially if it could equal or better the 70+ seaters seat mile costs.

    • Apparently because the CRJ is old design it hasn’t got a future. So why is a spiffed up 737 selling in record numbers? Lets be clear, airlines don’t really care if you are comfortable. They want the most cost effective solution to moving people around and they ultimately know that the flying public’s first concern is price. So, if BBD or someone else can figure out how to get the manufacturing costs down they will continue to sell CRJ’s well into the future.

  11. Like any asset manager, Alain Bellemare calculated that the return on investment on the Q400 was no longer worth the risk. It was becoming unprofitable to try to renew this turbo-prop range. Especially since the new technologies being developed in regional aviation will undoubtedly have overtaken the current fuel advantages of turbo. As I mentioned recently, the CRJ’s adventure can still continue if Bombardier finds a business partner. Let us not forget that Mitsubishi is an important partner for Bombardier in Global projects. A joint venture is always possible. CRJ/MRJ, a winning combination? Bombardier has a worldwide network of parts and maintenance. Mitsubishi will probably have to find another network similar to the one proposed by Boeing after the Embraer integration. Finally, such a future would imply a relocation of the manufacturing workshop to a low-cost country. Or Japan. Airbus would thus obtain more space at Mirabel to produce more A220s.

    Bombardier will undoubtedly develop the successor to the Challenger 650 very soon. This is probably the starting point for thinking, if necessary, about the post-CRJ. As long as you believe in it, indeed. Therefore, will the diameter of the future Challenger 750 lead to a CRJ 950 as narrow as the 900? In that case, why not bet on the Global’s cabin? Other issues remain unresolved. So why would GE have invested so much money in the Passport engine? For a single customer, a single range of aircraft? If Bombardier loses money in the manufacture of CRJs, isn’t that the lot of all manufacturers: sell at cost and make money on parts and maintenance? This chapter is far from over.

    • While there is some truth in the culling, there is also known areas where it does not happen (A380?)

      Not long ago they were actively talking about new Prop job and engines large enough to move it.

      Moving anything to Japan is off the table, its not a low cost buyild arena by any stretch.

      Ak replaced both the CRJs and some A400s with the E175

      BBD is clearly dropping down. Business Jets market is always an iffy thing.

      • Japan? Because the entire MRJ program is based on pride, on a Renaissance of pre-war national pride. The low-cost structure has nothing to do with this. The Japanese want a national champion. The combined MRJ/CRJ projects would add weight and reality to this ambition, to this dream of regaining power in the air…

        • Isn’t that a bit like resurrecting the Zero as a modern day fighter?

          As the CRJ is now a dead end and would compete with the MJ70 (on price only) ?

          We have the MJ-70, we want to build a Beaver why?

          Its just not happening. No one is going to buy the CRJ as its got no future.

          Someone might buy the parts rights to eeek out the ones that are going to go away and make money on it, though with them going away spare aircraft can fill that need as well.

          I have nothing against the CRJ. But the day I flew a DC-8, I knew the DC-4/6/7 were toast.

          • Toast ?
            40 + 10 options for new orders of the CRJ900 in the last year alone.
            It helps that the fuselage barrel sections and nose/cockpit plus most of empennage is common with the Challenger 600 series and Global business jets.
            I dont think they have had a radial piston engine like the DC6 did.

        • If it’s national pride, it’s only at the cabinet level. Most of the Japanese people really don’t care, they are perfectly used to flying Boeing (which is probably 90% of the Japanese airlines’ fleet) and likely care less about the MRJ than the Canadians care about the CSeries, uhh, A220.

    • While there is some truth in the culling, there is also known areas where it does not happen (A380?)

      Not long ago they were actively talking about new Prop job and engines large enough to move it.

      Moving anything to Japan is off the table, its not a low cost buyild arena by any stretch.

      Ak replaced both the CRJs and some Q400s with the E175

      BBD is clearly dropping down. Business Jets market is always an iffy thing.

      • Alaska’s subsidiary Horizon Air is just one of its regional partners the other is Skywest
        Horizon has 49 Q400s ( one was hijacked and crashed) and 18 E175s
        Mainline carriers are always juggling destinations between regionals and their own planes

    • The Bombardier ‘large’ business jets the Challenger 600s and Global series all have the same cabin width as the CRJ regional jet. The smaller Challenger 350 is smaller width cabin only.

      Indeed ,the Challenger 600 series was the starting point , via Bill Lear for the whole derivatives of CRJ and Global being a much wider , even now than the competition in business jets.

      Bombardier isnt going to produce a bigger cabin CRJ and will likely sell the business to the Misubishi consortium building the MRJ, which is everything a CRJ replacement should be. ( except for Scope)

  12. As I noted last week for a similar post here in LNC, I flew a Bombardier CRJ-900 last month RDU-EWR for a DL Connection flight, and even in seat 5D (bulkhead/1st row in Comfort+), I found the narrow 17” width of the seat (I always bring a tape measure!) too narrow, confining and unpleasant for the 90-mins flight when compared against the wider, 18” seat (6D also in Comfort+) taken on the outbound flight LGA-RDU two days earlier which was aboard an Embraer 175.

    So, just as I strive to AVOID the 17” (or thereabouts) wide seats on Boeing’s 737s, or its truly atrocious ten abreast “densified” 777s and nine abreast 787s, that recent flight aboard the Delta Connection CR9 was a potent reminder of why it’s best for most adults to avoid any aircraft with 17” wide economy class seats – and especially those for mid- to long-haul flights – as I simply found myself pining to get off that plane ASAP I hated it that much being pinned between the person next to me, whom in this case was someone I know very well, and the sidewall of the cabin.

    And if that was how I felt for just 90 mins, I can only imagine how horrible longer flights must be if one is stuck for 3-15+ hours in a teensy, weensy, 17”-17.2” economy seat on any Boeing aircraft.

    Anyhow, I’ll sure do my best to avoid Bombardier’s CRJs of all sizes whenever possible if there’s other flights aboard Embraer 175s, 195s, or better yet, Airbus’s (nee Bombardier’s) brand new A220s what with their 18.6” wide economy seats… just as I go out of my way to avoid Boeing’s nasty (for economy flyers) densified 777/787 widebodies and book Airbus’s much nicer A330s/340s whenever booking long-haul international flights for myself – and others who ask for my assistance booking their flights!

    (Fortunately, with Airbus’s far more comfy for economy pax A350s becoming more widely available on many routes, especially to/from Asia, perhaps this will force a rethinking of those atrocious, densified 777s now that Airbus has a viable competitor in the long-haul widebody space that it lacked until now, and which allowed for Boeing to call all the shots, including the unacceptably narrow, 17” wide seating that has become commonplace on many airlines’ 777s in recent years since 17” wide seats really is too narrow and confining for most adults…)

    So, for sure, buh-bye CRJs – you did well introducing the speed and “comfort” of jets to small markets that used to be dominated by propeller planes back when Comair introduced them nearly 30 years ago. But your time has come, and gone, now that better options with wider economy seats are available as 17” wide seats, even for 90-mins is unpleasant, undesirable, and even unacceptable!

    • @Howard Miller:
      “…its truly atrocious….nine abreast 787s”
      “…with Airbus’s far more comfy for economy pax A350s”
      The above is either a joke, an attempt/private agenda to push a perpetually popular myth or simply classic Airbus PR voodoo magic re Y pax comfort 350 vs 787.

      “…(I always bring a tape measure!) ”
      Different tapes or measuring methods must hv be employed when U measure seat width on 787 vs 350….

      Read the maximum cabin diameter specs(as published on their technical certification docs) of both types. Divide those figures by 11 seats/aisles abreast to see the real diff in available seat width space between the 2 types….and then rethink yr sweeping declaration of “Airbus’s far more comfy for economy pax”.

      • Hi FLX, seems this seat width thing is staying with us. As you are closer to manuals etc., according to Wikipedia the 777 cabin width is 231 inches and that of the 777X 234 inches. But they claim 17″ seats in a 10 abreast 777 and 18″ seats for the 777X in 10 abreast, something doesn’t add up.

        My matchbox calc’s tell me that the 777X seat width should be around 17.3″ (in 10 abreast) with similar aisle widths while that of the 350 in 9 abreast 18″?

        The CRJ gets bad comments for its 16.8-17″ seats, flown in CRJ200/700’s and must admit is not comfortable. But most flights are generally less than 3 hours and seat width not worse than 777’s where flights could often be more than 10 hours.

        Don’t want to pour petrol on the fire but the A330’s in 2-4-2 probably the most comfortable twin aisle in production, the 767 a clear champion in this field.

  13. Having been on a 9 across A350, 10 across 777, 8 across A330, 10 across 747-400, and 10 across A380 in recent months, I have no hesitation saying that the 777 was by far the worst. The 747 wasn’t much better.

    I’ve not been on a 787, but based on the fact they’ve all squeezed in 9 seats I’m in no hurry to try it.

    • Spoil yourself and fly in an CS/A220 if the opportunity arises, in a different class.

  14. The 737 has kept going for 50 years, perhaps the CRJ can go on for another 10-15 years.

    • The 737 had so many changes over the decades its a bit like ‘George Washington’s axe’. Bombardier clearly has no money to keep up with its closest competitor the MRJ , which hopefully if Mitsubishi buys the CRJ line , then becomes its replacement. And Mitsubishi needs real world experience in building and maintaining a regional jet series.

  15. This OPINION is not fair at all, crj cabin is confortable as competitors and a lot quieter (rear mount engines). For the economics it got the longest maintenance intervals the higher dispatch and it will consume just 3 ou 4 % more fuel than the new gen high weight models

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