Bombardier has begun the first set of systems tests and simulations for the C Series airliner in its systems integration rig, known also as the Complete Integrated Aircraft Systems Test Area (Ciasta) or “Aircraft 0,” the company announced Wednesday.
This year, Bombardier will launch one of the most ambitious flight-test programs in business aviation history. The Learjet 85 is scheduled to enter service in 2013 and as many as five test aircraft could make their first flights in the coming months.
For years Bombardier Commercial Aircraft claimed a modest level of sales success in Asia, selling more than 300 airplanes over the years to nearly 40 operators. But its performance there had proved uneven, and the company traditionally has depended on strongholds in North America and Europe for the majority of its revenues.
Garuda Indonesia has become the Asian launch customer for 18 Bombardier CRJ1000 NextGen aircraft valued at a list price of $1.32 billion. The deal is a major boost for the Canadian airframer, which had been struggling to keep production of the 100-seater viable.
The carrier will receive five aircraft this year, a mix of direct buys and leased, with all 18 to be delivered by 2015, CEO Emirsyah Satar said. The aircraft will be in a two-class configuration.
Following the deal, Bombardier has designated GMF Aero Asia as its authorized service center for CRJ 1000s in Asia.
Canada’s Bombardier identified China Express Airlines as a customer for its CRJ900 regional jet last week during Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s visit to Beijing for the Canada China Business Forum. The conditional order for six dual-class-configured CRJ900s plus options on another five, signed late last year, will give Bombardier its first sale of a new commercial airplane in China in “eight or nine years.”
For years Bombardier Commercial Aircraft claimed a modest level of sales success in Asia, selling 297 airplanes over the years to 38 operators. But its performance there has proved uneven, and the company traditionally has depended on strongholds in North America and Europe for the majority of its revenues. Unfortunately for the Canadian manufacturer, what once stood as the world’s two biggest markets for regional aircraft have become saturated.
US Airways announced last month that it finished installing first-class sections on 110 US Airways Express Embraer E170/175s and Bombardier CRJ700/900s. With the addition of first-class sections on regional partners PSA, Mesa Air Group and Republic Airways, US Airways now offers same-class service to more than 85 destinations. The company began installing the two-by-one seating configurations on its Express aircraft in September and completed all aircraft in mid-December.
All 41 Bombardier CRJ900s and 19 Bombardier CRJ200s flying with Mesaba Airlines as Delta Connection on January 4 moved to the Pinnacle Airlines certificate, marking a “huge milestone” in Memphis-based Pinnacle’s efforts to shed one of its three operating certificates. Although Pinnacle Airlines Corp.
Bombardier’s continuing efforts to cultivate ties with Chinese industry appeared to pay some dividends last month, when the company signed a conditional purchase agreement for six CRJ900s from an unidentified Chinese airline.
Bombardier Aerospace unveiled its new CSeries flightdeck demonstrator Sunday at the Dubai Air Show.