Bombardier has confirmed at long last who the first operator of the CSeries aircraft will be… and it will be Swiss International Airlines.
The Bombardier CSeries programme has been through major ups and downs – however, it seems Bombardier is buckling down on the programme, with the manufacturer targeting certification of the aircraft towards the end of 2015, and delivery of the first aircraft to Swiss in the first half of 2016.
The CSeries will also make its debut to the press and aviation industry at the International Paris Air Show at Le Bourget in June, and then head to Zürich afterwards for Swiss to have demonstrations.
Swiss appear happy to confirm themselves as the launch operator of the type, with Harry Hohmeister, Chief Executive Officer of Swiss stating:
“Following the performance results and flight test data, we are pleased that the CSeries aircraft is very much in line with our performance expectations and sustainable fleet requirements. Therefore, we are looking forward to being both the launch customer and the first airline that will operate the CS100 aircraft”.
Lufthansa group ordered 30 Bombardier CS100 aircraft for its Swiss International Airlines subsidiary in 2009, and has been patiently waiting for these aircraft. The airline is soldiering on with its BAE-146/Avro RJ aircraft which it uses on thinner routes from Zurich and Geneva. Whilst capable aircraft, they are ageing and also have four engines – which is never good for the fuel bill.
For Bombardier, a core priority is to get the CSeries out, completing the test flights and gaining the certification it needs – so it can start getting aircraft out to airlines.
And at the same time, score some more orders that the programme desperately needs.
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