A deal signed with Iraqi Airways to purchase five CS300 mainline jetliners puts Bombardier Aerospace well on the way to meeting its target of 300 orders by next year’s launch, according to Bombardier president Pierre Beaudoin. The Iraqi order includes options on eleven more of the CSeries jets. If all of the options are converted to firm orders, the value of the order would be approximately $1.26 billion US. A letter of intent was signed between Iraqi Airways and Bombardier at the Dubai Airshow in November.
Iraqi Airways has been flying six Bombardier CRJ900 NextGen aircraft for several years already. The acquisition of the CS300 aircraft “will complement our network operations and allow us to expand into new markets,” said Captain Saad Al-Khafaji, Chief Executive Officer and Director General, Iraqi Airways. “The CS300 aircraft’s range, fuel efficiency and comfortable, widebody-like cabin will permit us to respond to growing passenger demand and reach destinations across the Middle East, Northern Africa and Europe.”
With this latest order, Bombardier has orders and commitments for 419 CSeries planes. Of these, 182 are firm orders. Sixteen customers have signed on to the CSeries program, the company says. Pierre Beaudoin said in an inverview with CBC news that “we’re in a very good position” to reach 300 firm orders.
The company describes the midrange CSeries jets as a “game changer” with 20 per cent better fuel efficiency than its competitors’ planes. It is designed for the 100–149-seat market, and has what it takes in terms of technology and materials to meet commercial airline requirements. Until now, Bombardier has been known more for its smaller regional and private use jets.
The CSeries still has to undergo months of flight testing. The first flight test was carried out on September 16 after several delays. The first aircraft could enter into service next September. Beaudoin estimates that the jet will be produced for the next twenty years or so, bringing in annual revenues of up to $1 billion.