MONTREAL—Bombardier Inc.’s month-long CSeries route-proving program is officially under way.
Taking off from the Zurich, Switzerland base of its launch operator, Swiss International Air Lines, the aerospace firm has begun a series of flights that will take its CS100 to a range of European cities including Brussels, Vienna and Warsaw.
“The route-proving flights will bring the C Series aircraft closer to the flying public in Europe who will ultimately be amongst the first in the world to fly aboard the aircraft—the first all-new airliner built for the 100- to 150-seat market in close to three decades,” Fred Cromer, president of Bombardier Commercial Aircraft, said.
The route-proving flights will demonstrate the CS100’s performance on a typical airline schedule as it prepares to enter into service later this year. Bombardier plans to deliver the first CS100 to Swiss in the second quarter. Meanwhile, the company has completed its final CSeries test aircraft outside Montreal. The last of eight flight testers, and second CS300, entered the Bombardier flight test program in Mirabel, Quebec last week.
Though Rob Dewar, vice-president of Bomabrdier’s CSeries program said March is turning out to be a “very productive” month for the commercial jet program, the clouds hanging over the Montreal-based company have not lifted entirely. As Bombardier’s flight testers take to the skies across the Atlantic, the plane and train manufacturer remains the centre of a financial aid of debate here in Canada.
In addition to ongoing financial aid discussions, the company announced plans to layoff approximately 7,000 workers last month, while Republic Airways—an airline that had ordered a 40 CSeries aircraft—filed for bankruptcy protection Feb. 25, throwing the viability of the order into question.