The Bombardier CS300, a Magnificent and Unique Airliner!
One year ago, on November 30 2016, airBaltic became the launch customer for the Bombardier CS300 when they received the first example off the production line. The jet airliner would become the key to success for the airline from Latvia. AirBaltic’s CEO Martin Gauss states that the CS300 definitely meets the carrier’s expectations.
AirBaltic is soaring to new heights with the CS300
According to Gauss more passengers are choosing to fly with the CS300. The CS300 makes it possible for airBaltic to open up new routes. Since the introduction of the new airliner, airBaltic already announced more than 20 new routes.
The CS300 has proven to be a reliable, economical, and comfortable airliner for the passengers and crew. The first aircraft, registration YL-CSA, has already flown more than 150,000 passengers on more than 1,300 flights. After the first aircraft airBaltic received 6 more CS300s. A total of 20 aircraft have been ordered by airBaltic. The last aircraft will be delivered by the end of 2019. The CS300 will replace the carrier’s old Boeing 737s. Enjoy this video of an airBaltic B737 and its successor the CS300 landing during a storm at Amsterdam Airport. Video courtesy of Jerry Taha Productions.
Bombardier C-Series Orders Trickle In
Today there are only two airlines in the world flying the C-Series: airBaltic and Swiss. Swiss airlines is flying both the CS100 as the CS300 with a total of 20 aircraft in active service. Korean Air will be the third airline to fly the CS300 before the end of 2017. The South-Korean order includes 10 aircraft and purchase rights for an additional 10 aircraft.
Bombardier has a total order of approximately 350 aircraft of the new C-Series, including orders from large airlines as Delta and Air Canada. On November 14, 2017 the Canadian plane manufacturer announced a large order from an undisclosed European customer during the Dubai Airshow. Bombardier also announced at the show that it has signed a letter of intent for up to 24 CS300s with EgyptAir in Cairo. This includes 12 CS300s with purchase rights for an additional 12 aircraft.
About C-Series Aircraft
The Bombardier C-Series is a family of narrow-body, twin-engine, medium range jet airliners, designed by Canadian manufacturer Bombardier Aerospace. The CS100 (108 to 133- seat) made its maiden flight on September 16, 2013 and entered service on July 15, 2016 with Swiss Global Airlines. The CS300 (130 to 160-seat) flew for the first time on February 27, 2015 and entered service with launch customer airBaltic on December 14, 2016. When it entered service, the CS300 saw 21% lower fuel burn, replacing B737-300s with a dependability above 99% and 25% lower costs than the RJ100 for the CS100.
The C-Series is the only aircraft optimized for the 100 to 150-seat market segment, which drives the aircraft’s phenomenal economic proposition and performance, opening up new opportunities for single-aisle aircraft operation. The C-Series aircraft is manufactured by the C-Series Aircraft Limited Partnership, an affiliate of the Bombardier Commercial Aircraft segment of Bombardier Inc.
Comprised of the CS100 and the larger CS300 aircraft, the C-Series family represents the fusion of performance and technology. The result is aircraft that deliver unmatched performance and economics in the 100 to 150-seat market segment and an 18 per cent lower cost per passenger, making them the ideal candidates to complement larger single-aisle aircraft. Airlines can now operate routes that were previously not profitable or even possible.
Bombardier has created a new standard in cabin design and flexibility to ensure an unrivaled passenger experience. The aircraft’s larger seats, overhead bins and windows deliver a wide-body feel that offers passengers unparalleled comfort in a single-aisle cabin.The passengers’ and pilots’ feedback is positive for the cabin and flight controls.
The groundbreaking Pratt & Whitney PurePower® PW1500G engine, combined with the aircraft’s advanced aerodynamics, delivers reduced fuel burn, noise, and emissions – making the C-Series the most community-friendly aircraft. Bombardier claims the engine and the wings will save up to 20% fuel compared with the Airbus A320neo and the Boeing 737NG; the CS300 is 6 tons lighter than the Airbus A319neo and nearly 8 tons lighter than the Boeing 737 MAX 7, helping it to achieve up to 12% operating costs savings and 15% with the current models. Here is an airBaltic CS300 departing from Amsterdam Airport to its home base airport in Riga, Latvia. Video courtesy of Jerry Taha Productions.
How does the Airbus-Bombardier Partnership relate to the Boeing-Bombardier Dispute?
On October 16, 2017 Airbus and Bombardier announced a partnership on the C-Series program, with Airbus acquiring a 50.01% majority stake for no outlay, with Bombardier keeping 31% and Investissement Québec 19%. When the deal closes in the second half of 2018, Airbus will assist in marketing and servicing.
Airbus’ supply chain expertise should save production costs, but headquarters and assembly remain in Quebec while U.S. customers will benefit from a second assembly line in Mobile, Alabama. Airbus did not pay for its share in the program, nor did it assume any debt. Airbus insists that the company has no plan to buy out Bombardier’s stake in the C-Series program. Bombardier would remain a strategic partner after 2025. The plan is to expand in an estimated market of more than 6,000 new 100-150 seat aircraft over 20 years. Airbus CEO Tom Enders and Bombardier CEO Alain Bellemare assured that this factor did not drive the partnership, but negotiations began in August, after the April 2017 filing and the June decision to proceed and, as a result, Boeing was suspicious.
Boeing’s battle over Bombardier is indirectly related to its feud with Airbus. Boeing claims Bombardier received illegal support for its C-Series airliner, when the province of Quebec took a 1 billion dollar stake in the troubled programme. This support helped Bombardier to agree a mega order for 75 CS100s with Delta Airlines on April 28, 2016. Although Delta has 75 CS100 jets in order with an option for an additional 50 planes, expect the airline to switch some of its order to the larger CS300 down the road. With a range of more than 3,500 miles, the CS100 allows Delta to operate routes its smaller jets had not been able to reach before. The jets are expected to be based in New York and Los Angeles.
Bombardier has been a global leader in business and regional jets, but the C-Series is the first product from the Canadian manufacturer to compete against Boeing and Airbus in the mainline market. This was a major financial gamble for Bombardier, with a program price tag of 5.5 billion dollar. Since its inception more than 10 years ago, there has been a series of development delays and slow sales. Even as Bombardier struggled to close a sale, they were credited with building an aircraft that’s one of the most capable on the market today in terms of efficiency and ability, besting Boeing and Airbus. With the Delta order, Bombardier has the blockbuster deal it needed to validate the attractiveness of the C-Series to other prospective buyers.
An interesting thing about the Boeing-Bombardier case is that Boeing hasn’t really seen any influence by Delta’s purchase of the C-Series. The jets are smaller than Boeing’s smallest aircraft, the 737. They are simply targeting different markets.
So how does the Boeing-Bombardier battle relate to Airbus? Perhaps the U.S. giant doesn’t want to see another potential competitor supported in the same way that has allowed Airbus to come from nothing in the seventies to being an equal rival today. Since the nineties Airbus has been a true rival for Boeing.
Since then it seems like most people either love the American or European aircraft manufacturer. In my case I simply enjoy both Boeing and Airbus and I certainly believe the two largest aircraft manufacturers in the world will keep forcing one another to manufacture more and better quality aircraft, when you look at performance, fuel efficiency, comfort, and low-noise engines, like Boeing’s 737 MAX and 787 Dreamliner, but also Airbus’ A320neo and A350. As a result aviation will be soaring to new heights in the future.
And now we also have the Bombardier CS100 and CS300 to enjoy. A magnificent and unique aircraft that will fly at more and more places around the globe in the years to come.