Was there any substance behind a slip-up in which Hong Kong airline Cathay Pacific had its name flashed over the side of new high tech Canadian airliner that hasn’t yet flown?
There was a very odd moment at last month’s Zhuhai Air Show when the full scale mock-up of a Bombardier CSeries airliner was wearing the projected title of Cathay Pacific.
Peter Ricketts, the editor and publisher of the Asia-Pacific Aerospace Report, says that when he asked Bombardier about the surprising sight he was told by a representative at the stand that “we would like to have Cathay Pacific as a buyer but it is too early to say anything.”
After which, the projection was never seen again.
A CSeries acquisition by Cathay Pacific would be the smallest airliner it would have operated since it acquired some turbo-prop Lockheed Electras starting in 1959. As airlines wait to see how many low cost carriers Hong Kong will approve the Cathay Pacific response is the subject of continued speculation, which now extends to an attractive but as yet unflown design which is unlikely to be ready for a new customer until late in 2014 or 2015.
And no orders for CX CSeries were announced at Zhuhai.
A reporter since November 30, 1960, Ben Sandilands looks at what really matters up in the sky: public administration of air transport and its safety, the accountability of the carriers, and space for everyone’s knees.
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