Bombardier Delays CSeries First Flight By Up To A Month

By Reuters
June 26, 2013
Credit: Bombardier

Canada’s Bombardier Inc delayed the maiden flight of its all-new CSeries jetliner for a second time on Wednesday, pushing it back by up to a month.

The news sent its shares down as much as 3.2 percent shortly after the market opened in Toronto.

The company, which previously promised the first flight by the end of June after a six month delay, said ground vibration tests and software upgrades were completed and that it has applied to Transport Canada for the flight test permit.

Bombardier, which now says the inaugural flight will occur by the end of July, said it was extending the timeline to allow for additional software upgrades to improve the system.

The single-aisle CSeries, the company’s largest aircraft family, is Bombardier’s bet on the lucrative 100- to 149-seat segment, one it hopes to eventually command with 50 percent of the market share.

The maiden flight will cap a $3.4 billion dollar, five-year program that Bombardier hopes will position the company to compete against industry giants Boeing Co and Airbus .

Bombardier has announced 177 firm CSeries orders so far and is targeting 300 firm orders or more from 20 airlines by the time it enters into service in a year’s time.

Sales have been slow to materialize, however, with the company failing to announce any CSeries sales during last week’s high-profile Paris Airshow. Some airlines are eyeing the plane’s first flight to see if the technology and efficiency claims are proven.

Bombardier shares were down 15 Canadian cents at C$4.52.

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