The publicist effect which worked so badly for Boeing when the Dreamliner was constantly on-time but kept slipping until it was more than three years late entering service is starting to work its magic for Canadian airliner manufacturer Bombardier and its CSeries jet.
This week it put the entry into service of the initial version, the CSeries 100, back by around a year. Given the reliability of PR statements from the Quebec based company, that’s a minimum slip of one year. From the aviation gallery, the term the ‘wait and see CSeries’ began to circulate. Cruel and simplistic as a catch cry? For sure.
But that’s beside the point when companies, in aviation or any other activity, allow their image to fall into the hands of professional spinners who quickly start to look like liars as delays mount up, and reporters rewind the tapes so to speak, and discover unconditional protestations as to the the stellar performance of the airliner that may be in question, as well as its delivery timetable.
Among the many stories the CSeries official delay caused in the media abroad, this story in the Wall Street Journal stands out for being fair, detailed, and ….. undoubtedly tough, and with good reasons.
One matter also stands out in other stories. Bombardier is apparently continuing to insist that the larger CSeries 300 will be ready for service less than a year after the CSeries 100 enters service. That seems like an optimistic claim.
In Australia the CSeries could replace Fokker F100s, Boeing 717s and Boeing 737-700s, except that the last named are being replaced by 737-800s anyhow as growth puts upward pressure on average airliner sizes for various categories of routes in this country.
There is no realistic prospect, at this stage, of the established carriers, Qantas and Virgin Australia, having the money or inclination to place any such order much before about 2018 or 2019. By then the CSeries will have either delivered handsomely on the original promises, or failed for technical and financial reasons.