CSeries300s could win orders off 737s at the low capacity end of the market

It seems that the answer to the US imposing ruinous tariffs on the sale of Canadian CSeries regional jets to American carriers at the behest of Boeing might be to put them together at a final assembly line in Alabama.

The 75 CSeries 100s that major US carrier Delta had ordered will no longer be dutiable imports, but a product ‘made in the USA’.

But, then again there may be more twists and turns.

Earlier today Airbus and Quebec based Bombardier announced they were forming a C Series Aircraft Limited Partnership (CSALP), to make and sell the CSeries, a two model single aisle family with nominal capacity of between 100-150 seats.

Airbus will acquire a 50.01% interest in CSALP. Bombardier and Investissement Québec (IQ) will own approximately 31% and 19% respectively.

The key points are that the :

  • Partnership brings together two complementary product lines, with the 100-150 seat market segment expected to represent more than 6,000 new aircraft over the next 20 years
  • Combination of Airbus’ global reach and scale with Bombardier’s newest aircraft family will create significant value for customers, suppliers, employees and shareholders
  • Significant C Series production costs savings anticipated by leveraging Airbus’ supply chain expertise
  • In a Commitment to Québec: C Series Aircraft Limited Partnership headquarters and primary assembly are to remain in Québec, with the support of both companies’ global supply chains
  • Airbus’ global industrial footprint expands with the C Series Final Assembly Line in Canada, resulting in a positive impact on operations in Québec and across the country, and
  • A growing market for the C Series results in a second Final Assembly Line in Mobile, Alabama, serving U.S. customers.

Airbus Chief Executive Officer Tom Enders said the CSeries is a great fit with the consortium’s existing single-aisle aircraft family and rapidly extends our product offering into a fast growing market sector.

“Not only will this partnership secure the CSeries and its industrial operations in Canada, the UK and China, but we also bring new jobs to the US. Airbus will benefit from strengthening its product portfolio in the high-volume single-aisle market, offering superior value to our airline customers worldwide,” Mr Enders said.

The natural competitor to the CSeries today is the Brazilian designed and made Embraer E2 series of generally smaller capacity jets. The CSeries and the corresponding Embraers are the only regional jets in production or undergoing certification that could replace aging fleets of Fokker F70s and F100s, and Boeing 717s. The Australian market for new regional jets in the 2020s could readily exceed 100 aircraft.

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