Bombardier has certainly gone all-out to get the message on its CSeries launch out to the aerospace community, plastering images of the new narrowbody all over Farnborough.
But in its zeal, the Canadian aircraft maker may have gone a bit too far, observes the CEO of one rival aircraft maker as he's walking past the following branding effort:
“I’m not sure I’d allowed my new aircraft to be associated with trash,” he quips.
But there were other unkind words thrown the CSeries’s way. Airbus chief salesman John Leahy says that he’s still waiting for the day Airbus will let him launch a new program without a firm order, in reference to Lufthansa’s mere letter of interest that's underlying the CSeries launch.
And even the more mild mannered Airbus executive vice president for programs, Tom Williams, had a few jabs at the CSeries. Launching the aircraft “is a very bold thing for them to do,” he says. He terms the CSeries a niche aircraft and contends the market is much smaller than Bombardier makes out.
Moreover, Williams has a word of warning for governments financially supporting the aircraft. The development bill given by Bombardier understates the real costs, so they need to brace to fork over more. Money issues are also on the forefront of the mind of Frederico Curado, the boss of Embraer. The government aid “is a concern for us,” he says. He expects the Brazilian government to review whether the assistance is compliant with world trade rules.
Rivals have certainly thrown down the gauntlet to Bombardier. Now its up to the CSeries folks to ensure Bombardier gets the last laugh.