MONTRÉAL—Its shares remain down dramatically year-to-date – depreciating 69 per cent – but Bombardier Inc. investors received some welcome news Aug. 20 when the company announced steady progress on the certification testing for its CSeries aircraft.
Bombardier said its CS100 has performed over 80 per cent of the required certification tests while logging more than 2,250 flight test hours.
The company noted CSeries aircraft are currently undergoing noise performance testing and are expected to meet those targets, making it the quietest commercial jet in production.
“The summer months are proving very productive for the C Series aircraft as the flight test program continues to make solid progress – even setting a record with six test aircraft flying on the same day, logging in excess of a combined 20 hours,” Fred Cromer, president of Bombardier Commercial Aircraft, said.
“Passengers also flew on-board the CS100 for the first time as part of the cabin testing program and their feedback was very complimentary. The C Series continues to impress and is on track to achieving certification later this year and we continue to work with first operator SWISS as it readies for entry-into-service in the first half of 2016,” he added.
Bombardier’s CSeries is also scheduled to make its Toronto debut in September.
The company noted the aircraft continues to perform well. The CSeries’ range is confirmed to be 6,112 kilometres, significantly more than originally targeted. It is delivering more than 20 per cent fuel burn advantage compared to in-production aircraft, and a 10 per cent fuel advantage over future re-engined aircraft, Montreal-based Bombardier, said.
Bombardier has booked orders and commitments for 603 CSeries aircraft, which include firm orders for 243, but has failed to attract any new buyers over the past few months. The company played-down the impact of no further sales at the Paris Airshow earlier this year.
Amid announcements that its long-range business jet program had been delayed and the market for its current business jets is softening, the company’s share prices have plunged to lows not seen since the early ’90s.
Nevertheless, positive news Thursday sent Bombardier shares up nearly 7 per cent. Meanwhile, investors wait anxiously to see if the aircraft’s strong performance will translate to new orders.