Amended with further info...
Bombardier director, airline industry analysis and strategy Chuck Evans during an Air Transport World webinair today said the airframer could wait until the end of the year before announcing a decision on whether to launch the proposed 110/130-seat CSeries.
“We expect to have guidance by the end of 2008 on whether to go forward with that," he says.
Evans notes, however, that Bombardier sees the CSeries “as the next logical step for our business”.
He adds: “We’re looking at the CSeries as the future platform to carry us [into the] future.”
Evans' comments come as US majors American Airlines and United Airlines continue to press Airbus and Boeing to speed up development of new-design narrowbodies. Could these major manufacturers' lack of near-term commitment open up a window for the CSeries?
Evans says: "Certainly we're seeing those statements [from American and United] and we're seeing more."
Questions remain whether the program will be launched, however. And Evans' comments might leave more questions than answers. While the CSeries is "still under a lot of study", Bombardier believes it is "quite clear that there is a demand for that size range and that technology", he says.
For some time, Northwest Airlines has been considered the likely candidate to launch the CSeries. The carrier recently confirmed it is pulling down 24 more McDonnell Douglas DC-9s this year, bringing to 68 the number of the type in its fleet. It says it remains in talks with manufacturers on a 100-seater replacement.
Interestingly, Bombardier recently updated its CSeries web page (see copyright...2008). Here's what the Canadian manufacturer is running on its site:
The Bombardier* CSeries* is the only family of aircraft designed specifically, without compromise, for the lower end of the 100- to 149-seat market. CSeries is the perfect balance of proven methods, materials and leading-edge technology to meet the airline needs for 2013 and beyond.
This competitive aircraft family will be built with unmatched operating economics, optimal environmental friendliness, total life-cycle support, unparalleled passenger appeal, superior operational flexibility and mature reliability levels at the entry into service.
*Registered Trademark(s) or Trademark(s) of Bombardier Inc. or its subsidiaries Disclamer: The Bombardier New Commercial Aircraft Program is currently in the conceptual design phase and, as such, is subject to changes in family strategy, capacity, performance, interior design and/or systems. The material does not constitute a guarantee or a warranty of any kind.
All rights reserved. © 2008 Bombardier Inc.