Delta throws Bombardier's C Series a lifeline

After anemic sales threatened the future of the composites-intensive C Series, Delta's order of 75 CS100 aircraft, with options for 50 more, might have put the single-aisle aircraft on a path to sustainability.


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Bombardier Commercial Aircraft (Montréal, QC, Canada) reported on April 28 that received a potentially lifesaving order for its composites-intensive C Series aircraft from Delta Air Lines Inc. (Atlanta, GA, US). The agreement includes the sale and purchase of 75 CS100 aircraft, with options for an additional 50 CS100 aircraft. Delta Air Lines may elect to convert a number of these aircraft into CS300 at a later date. Based on the list price of the CS100 aircraft, the firm order is valued at approximately US$5.6 billion.

With this order, the largest in Bombardier Commercial Aircraft history, Delta becomes the C Series aircraft’s largest customer. Deliveries are scheduled to commence in spring 2018.

“As we reshape our fleet for the future, the innovative onboard experience of the C Series is a perfect complement for the top-notch service provided every day by Delta people,” says Ed Bastian, Delta’s incoming chief executive. “These new aircraft are a solid investment, allowing us to take advantage of superior operating economics, network flexibility and best-in-class fuel performance.”

“Welcoming Delta Air Lines to the C Series family of operators is a watershed moment for our game- changing aircraft. As an industry leader, Delta consistently ranks first with customers, business leaders and its peers - a benchmark for operational performance,” says Fred Cromer, president, Bombardier Commercial Aircraft. “This order is a resounding endorsement of the CS100 aircraft performance and its exceptionally low operating costs. In addition, its widest aisle, widest seats and largest bins in its class will be attractive features for Delta’s passengers.”

The C Series family of aircraft is a 100% all-new design in the 100- to 150-seat market segment. By employing advanced materials, state-of-the-art technologies and advanced aerodynamics, combined with the Pratt & Whitney PurePower PW1500G engine, the CS100 is delivering a 15-20% fuel burn advantage compared to other re-engined aircraft. The aircraft offers 19-inch-wide seats, large overhead bins and the largest windows in the single-aisle market. 

The C Series aircraft's maximum range has also been confirmed to be up to 3,300 NM/6,112 km, about 350 NM/648 km more than originally targeted. 

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