US Carriers' Woes To Blame
After closer inspection, Bombardier Inc. has decided now might
not be the best time to bring a new commercial airliner to market
in the United States.
Officially, the company has put off its decision to go ahead
with production of its new C-Series aircraft -- to be produced in
110- and 130- seat versions -- because it has "some important
customer meetings" coming up and "we want to present to our board
all the information necessary" to make a decision, according to a
One of those customers, according to The Wall Street Journal, is
beleaguered Northwest Airlines. Bombardier was looking closely at
Northwest as a candidate for the C-Series, according to Bombardier
spokesman John Paul Macdonald, as Northwest's large fleet of DC-9s
will be ready to be taken out of service around 2010 -- right
around the time deliveries of the similar-sized C-Series would
However, Northwest's recent bankruptcy, as well as the overall
financial plight of the US airline industry, is "making it a little
more difficult and requires a bit more time for us in discussions"
with planned customers for the new C-Series, said MacDonald.
The C-Series is seen as
an important aircraft for Bombardier, as it would elevate the
company beyond the corporate-and-regional-jet markets and into the
commercial airliner realm currently dominated by Boeing and
As was reported earlier this year by
Aero-News, employees in the manufacturer's Montreal plant were even
willing to take large labor concessions in order to land work
on the new jet. The company previously stated it
would not announce a final production point for the jet -- possible
candidates include Montreal, Toronto, and Ireland -- until
customers had been secured.
Although a final decision to go ahead with the $2 billion
project has been delayed, company officials maintain development
and product evaluation work will continue on the C-Series.
"The reception is still enthusiastic" for the C-Series among
potential customers, Macdonald said.