Bombardier Commercial Aircraft’s new CS100 twin-engine aircraft competed its first passenger flight, carrying 20 airline representatives from Dublin, Ireland, to Zurich, Switzerland — a distance of about 770 miles. The jet builder staged the flight for its first C Series aircraft at the close of last week’s 2016 Annual General Meeting of the International Air Transport Association, in Dublin. Swiss International Air Lines, which has a hub at Zurich International Airport, will be the launch customers for the C Series aircraft later this year.
The flight carried senior executives of about 20 Star Alliance member airlines (Swiss Air is a Star Alliance member) among about 100 passengers, and was operated by six Bombardier crew members.
“As we approach first delivery and entry-into-service with launch operator Swiss, showcasing the CS100 aircraft to Star Alliance members and media provided them with first-hand experience of the C Series aircraft’s flight deck and cabin in operation,” according to Bombardier president Fred Cromer.
He added, “The quiet, steep takeoff and climb out to 37,000 feet impressed us all, and the feedback has been overwhelmingly positive and complimentary - all in anticipation of the aircraft entering commercial service this summer.”
The jet builder noted the C Series performance also confirmed its expectations for low noise levels and its passenger cabin comfort.
“Our business case for the C Series aircraft is coming to fruition and we are confident that our strategic plan is on track,” according to Cromer.
Bombardier’s CSeries is a family of narrow-body, twin-engine, medium-range jets, developed for the single-aisle aircraft market dominated by the Boeing 737 and Airbus A320 series. Other aircraft in that market segment include Comac’s C919 and Embraer’s 190 series aircraft.
The CSeries incorporates advanced materials in an advanced aerodynamic design, and is powered by a set of Pratt & Whitney PurePower® PW1500G geared turbofan engines. The OEM claims the two C Series aircraft models will deliver “a greater-than 10% unit cost advantage compared to similarly-sized, re-engined aircraft.”
The CS100 is a 110-seat model, and the CS300 is slightly larger with 135 seats.
With the passengers, their luggage and fuel on board, Bombardier confirmed that its calculations indicated the aircraft could have flown direct from Dublin to Montréal (its own headquarters.) It said the one-hour, 50-minutes flight from Dublin to Zurich consumed 20% less fuel than competing single-aisle aircraft currently flying that route.
“It was a pleasure to welcome our fellow Star Alliance chief executive board members to Zurich in this special year, having flown on a very special aircraft – the Bombardier C Series – for which Swiss is the launch customer,” stated Swiss Air CEO Thomas Klühr. “We are really looking forward to welcoming the CS100 into our fleet when we take delivery in a few weeks.”