Lufthansa's firm order for 30 Bombardier CSeries is not a surprise - the airline helped the Canadian manufacturer launch the airliner last July by signing a letter of intent for up to 60 aircraft - but it does cement a relationship that stretches back 20 years and which has been crucial to Bombardier's success in the commercial aircraft market.
It was Lufthansa that launched the Canadair Regional Jet (CRJ) back in 1989, and put the pioneering 50-seater into service with its CityLine subsidiary in 1992. The rest, as they say, is history. Bombardier went on to sell more than 1,670 CRJs, more than 80 of them to Lufthansa, including the stretched CRJ700 and CRJ900.
Now Lufthansa is first to buy the 110-seat CSeries, or CS100 as it is now called. The firm order may help dampen the skepticism surrounding the CSeries, Bombardier's first foray into Airbus and Boeing terrority. Remember, 20-odd years ago the company's idea for a 50-seat jet was greeted with far greater disbelief.
As for Lufthansa, they also bought the Avro RJ, but I'll forgive them and wish the CSeries more success.