Bombardier Commercial Aircraft will build 45 of its new CS300 twin-engine aircraft for Air Canada, according to a new contract that marks the first North American order for that new medium-range jet series. The order also includes options for up to 30 more aircraft. Those options feature ‘conversion rights’ to the CS100 aircraft.
If all options are fulfilled the contract would be worth $2.76 billion (C$3.8 billion), according to Bombardier.
Air Canada president and CEO Calin Rovinescu stated: “The C Series will be a key element of our on-going fleet renewal, which will result in Air Canada operating one of the world’s youngest and most fuel-efficient airline fleets. With its optimal mainline performance range, superior economics, and greater seating capacity, the Canadian-built CS300 aircraft will allow us to compete more effectively, providing increased point-to-point service to domestic and trans-border markets further afield, as well as feeding our network.”
The CS300 is a 135-seat narrow-body commercial aircraft for medium-range routes, due to make its debut this spring with Lufthansa Group’s Swiss. The CS100 version seats 110 passengers. While it will compete with Boeing’s 737 series and the Airbus A320 series (among others), Bombardier has stated the CSeries aircraft will offer “the best seat-mile cost in its category,” making it attractive for short-haul as well as transcontinental routes.
Bombardier indicated the C Series aircraft's maximum range has been confirmed to be up to 3,300 nm (6,112 km) — 350 nm (648 km) more than originally targeted. The new jets incorporate numerous advanced materials, new technologies, and “advanced aerodynamics,” and are powered by Pratt & Whitney PurePower® PW1500G turbofan jet engine.
The aircraft will be built at Bombardier’s headquarters plant in Montréal.
Bombardier has 678 total orders and commitments for C Series aircraft, including 243 firm orders.
"Our recent focus has been to add a large North American international network carrier to complement our orders in both Europe and Asia, and with Air Canada we are achieving our goal of creating a strong global footprint for the C Series aircraft," Bombardier president and CEO Alain Bellemare explained. “We are bolstered and energized by Air Canada’s confidence in the C Series aircraft program and very assured that the carrier’s commitment – which is one of the largest to date for this aircraft – will be the catalyst for future orders in North America and around the world. We have the best aircraft in the 100- to 150-seat class segment and the momentum continues to build as we introduce the C Series to potential customers.”