The Bombardier C Series appears finally to have achieved some sales momentum recently, as the Canadian company announced two separate contracts for the new narrowbody over the span of a week early this month.
The first, revealed on June 1, involved a firm order for five CS100s and five CS300s from Sweden’s Braathens Leasing, a division of Braathens Aviation. The order, worth some $665 million according to Bombardier, could rise in value to $1.37 billion if Braathens converts the options it placed on 10 more airplanes to firm status. The Braathens order accounts for the C Series’ first sale since Indianapolis-based Republic Airways inked a so-called purchase agreement covering 40 CS300s in February 2010.
Plans call for Braathens Aviation member Malmö Aviation to operate the Bombardier jets from its base at the Bromma-Stockholm City Airport. Malmö Aviation now flies 12 four-engine Avro RJ100s and plans to begin its fleet renewal process with the C Series jets some time in 2014.
“Bromma, being a city airport, has very strict noise regulations, as well as a short runway,” said Knut Solberg, CEO of Braathens Aviation. “We have been very focused on noise, emissions, fuel consumption and runway performance in our decision for a new aircraft type. With the C Series aircraft, we found exactly what we were looking for.”
The Braathens transaction raised to 100 the number of firm orders Bombardier had booked for the C Series. A week later, however, that total increased to 103 when an unidentified airline inked a firm order for three CS100s, along with options on three more. Bombardier expects to start delivering those airplanes also in 2014.
Although Bombardier considers Republic its North American launch customer, none of the five C Series customers have committed to becoming the airplane’s first operator. Scheduled for certification and entry into revenue service in 2013, the smaller of the two airplanes–the CS100–has drawn a firm order for 30 examples from Lufthansa Group for its Swiss European Airlines subsidiary, but it has declined to serve as the launch operator. An order for three more CS100s have come from Lease Corporation International Group. The C Series’ five customers have placed firm orders for 41 CS100s and 62 CS300s.