Bombardier jet feeling market chill

Bloomberg reports that demand is low for Bombardier's new composites-intensive CSeries plane following delays of planes at Boeing and Airbus, and because of a weakened economy.

The Bloomberg news service reported on Jan. 20 that Bombardier Inc., the world’s third-largest planemaker, is struggling to find buyers for its CSeries jet as delays at Boeing Co. and Airbus have made airlines wary of new aircraft.

“Our teams are having a difficult time with this, because the last two big aircraft programs are two to three years late,” Benjamin Boehm, Bombardier’s vice president for commercial aircraft programs, told Bloomberg. “That unfortunately destroys airlines’ faith in seeing new products. The question is: how do we restore market faith in new aircraft development programs?”

Bombardier announced last year that it planned to enter the market for 110- to 130-seat planes with its new CSeries program. Bombardier has promised first deliveries in 2013. Deutsche Lufthansa AG provided a letter of interest for the purchase of 30 planes and another 30 options, although it hasn’t yet booked any firm orders. 
Bombardier will use carbon fiber composites extensively throughout the plane to attract airlines looking to save fuel. Bloomberg reports that the Teal Group (Fairfax, Va,) consulting company dropped the CSeries from its annual 10-year forecast in 2009 because it says the plane has a less-than 50 percent chance of being built.
“Technological risk, weak airline traffic and low fuel prices all work against new aircraft programs,” Richard Aboulafia, vice president of Teal, told Bloomberg. “Those are three great reasons not to be in a new jetliner program today. We just don’t see it happening.”

The CSeries also would compete with Empresa Brasileira de Aeronautica SA’s Embraer 190 model, which seats 98 to 114 passengers, as well as with jetliners planned by OAO Sukhoi Aviation Holding Co. and Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Ltd.

Information: Click here for original Bloomberg report.