Bombardier Aerospace has announced a potential forty-eight new orders for its CSeries aircraft. Five customers have signed letters of intent to purchase the new commercial jet or converted previous conditional orders at the Farnborough International Airshow in England. Bombardier did not take the CSeries to Farnborough because the plane is not ready, a fact that had some observers wondering whether it would be overlooked. Farnborough is one of the world’s premier airshows for introducing new aircraft.
Letters of intent were nevertheless signed by Petra Airlines of Jordan for two CS100 and two CS300 aircraft, worth $298 million, and by Zhejiang Loong Airlines of China for 20 CS100 airliners, worth approximately $1.26 billion US. A third LOI was signed by Falko Regional Aircraft Limited of the UK, for the purchase of up to twenty-four CS100 jets. Falko leases aircraft to companies around the world and already includes Bombardier regional jets and turboprop aircraft in its portfolio. The company is expecting to grow and expand worldwide and said that the CSeries “will figure prominently” in their plans.
The CS100 is designed for the city-centre and “hot and high” airfield operations, said Bombardier VP of Sales Ray Jones in a statement. Hot and high refers to the conditions of high air temperatures and low air density, at higher airport elevations. The lower air density can affect engine performance.
Falcon Aviation of Abu Dhabi has also converted an LOI to a firm order for two CS300s, and Baltic Corp. was revealed to be the customer that converted three options to firm orders last February.
The CSeries entry into service has been delayed, the most recent problem being engine failure in one of four test aircraft at Mirabel in Montreal, caused by a faulty oil seal in the Pratt and Whitney engine. A new design is currently being tested.
Bombardier currently has 205 firm orders for CSeries jets, and a total of 495 commitments. The company has said it would want to have 300 firm orders by the time of entry into service next year.