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Feb 18, 2016

CSeries wins over Air Canada, but not the press

For those of us not in Canada, the good news for Bombardier in selling its troubled CSeries jets to Air Canada certainly copped a hard landing in the American media. A

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The CSeries 300 as it will look for Air Canada
The CSeries 300 as it will look for Air Canada

For those of us not in Canada, the good news for Bombardier in selling its troubled CSeries jets to Air Canada certainly copped a hard landing in the American media.

After famously, or infamously resisting patriotic pressure to buy the troubled Canadian single aisle 100-150 seat capacity design for some years, Air Canada has done a deal to buy 45 of the larger model CSeries 300 with options for up to a further 30, for deliveries starting in 2019.

This was announced during Air Canada’s fourth quarter financials results presentation, not at the Singapore Airshow, where Bombardier is displaying one of its jets and where it would have made news as the largest airliner order placed at what has been otherwise a notably quiet event.

But as Reuters and other news agencies and organisations were quick to point out, the CSeries breakthrough coincided with the provincial government of Quebec ending action aimed at stopping Air Canada not supporting the continuing employment of some maintenance workers in Montreal, where Canada’s largest airline is headquartered.

The key trade is that Air Canada has agreed to maintenance support for the CSeries purchase being continued in Quebec for 20 years from the introduction of the new jet.

One of the early issues newly elected Canadian PM Justin Trudeau vowed to address after taking office in November last year was the future of Bombardier as a major high tech and high value manufacturer of aircraft and trains in Quebec.

The points of difference between Air Canada, Bombardier and the government of Quebec, where each business is based, had become focused on the airline’s lack of interest in the CSeries, and the stance it took when a maintenance contractor, Aveos, went out of business in Montreal.

Among the scathing analyses that have been published concerning Bombardier and its affairs recently, this local story by 680 News coincided with the Air Canada announcements.

Putting all of that aside, Bombardier undoubtedly needs more orders than this. But the project has been given a big if at times blunt boost by the Air Canada order, possibly enough to keep it alive as a potential replacement in the 2020s for the Boeing 717s and Fokker F100s in widespread regional and resource industry use in Australia today.

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6 comments

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6 thoughts on “CSeries wins over Air Canada, but not the press

  1. comet

    The CSeries is causing worries for the government of Quebec, which will inevitably have to give Bombardier some cash in the form of corporate welfare.

    But it’s a position the Chinese government would love to be in… to have an aircraft that flies and works well.

    Pity the Chinese Comac 919 that hasn’t even got off the ground yet.

    Bombardier just over extended itself with the CSeries. Bit off more than it can chew.

  2. Dan Dair

    comet,
    Read the 680 News item on the link in the text.

    It isn’t quite damning but certainly shows how much cash the national & regional governments are putting in.

    I agree with you about Bombardier being over-extended
    & I concur with your Comac 919 perspective too.!!

  3. whiskeyalphalimalimadashecho

    Why is anyone surprised by the trade/econ politics of these types of deals? The ANA/Skymark A380 and Malay A400M/A380 deals are in their own way polluted by vested interests. Lots of mutual back scratching, methinks.

  4. patrick kilby

    I suspect another reason for the deal is that in time Air Canada hopes it will also get access to the downtown Toronto airport for the C-Series (now restricted to turbo-props), which would be perfect for business trips every where a bit like London City is to BA.

  5. Tango

    C Series is a heck of an aircraft and once it gets going it will do well.

  6. ghostwhowalksnz

    I hadnt realised how high their production of their other aircraft lines were in 2015

    73 of their Global series business jet, 94 of the challenger, 32 of the Learjet. And for airline service 29 Q series turboprop and 44 CRJ regional jets.
    Where would they be without Bill Lear, whos designs laid the basis for the business and regional jets. Their turbo props came from the De Havilland Canada line and the only plane remaining from Canadair is the Cl-415 water bomber

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