The first Bombardier CS300 entered service with Latvia’s Air Baltic on Wednesday, flying 120 people including local media from Riga to Amsterdam. Hours after the completion of the flight, Bombardier announced the larger of the two C Series models won type validation from the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration. Following a recently completed operational validation, the FAA also determined that the CS300 will share the same pilot type rating as its smaller sibling, the CS100.
Operating the CS300 in a two-class, 145-seat configuration, Air Baltic has ordered a total of 20 of the new narrobodies. Apart from its CS300, Air Baltic flies 12 Boeing 737s and 12 Bombardier Q400s.
Before its official handover to Air Baltic on November 28, the CS300 conducted a series of route-proving flights in Europe and the Middle East in preparation for its entry into service. The single-aisle jet received European certification on October 7.
On November 23 Transport Canada and the European Aviation Safety Agency granted the CS100 and CS300 Same Type Rating (STR) status. According to the manufacturer, the approval will save operators “significant” costs and reflects the 99 percent parts commonality that the two aircraft share. Bombardier designed the two versions of the CSeries in tandem, making only the center section of CS300 longer than that of the CS100.
Since entering service with Swiss International Airlines, three CS100s have completed more than 1,600 flights, carrying some 156,560 passengers to 18 destinations.