April 2005 
Volume 03, Issue 11 
Industry Wrap

Bombardier gets OK for bigger jets

Boeing to sell Rocketdyne and Wichita Division

Bombardier Inc.'s board of directors last month gave the go-ahead on the company's proposed CSeries line of passenger airplanes, which would compete against airplanes including the Boeing 737-600 and -700 and the Airbus A318 and A319.

With orders for its smaller regional jets tapering off, Bombardier is seeking to carve out a new niche at the low end of Boeing and Airbus's product range—and above that of Brazil's Embraer, Bombardier's main rival in the regional-jet segment, The Wall Street Journal said.

The CSeries, which would enter service around 2010, would feature versions seating 110 and 130 passengers. Each would feature five-abreast seats and could be configured for short-haul travel, with a range of 1,800 nautical miles, or for transcontinental flights of as many as 3,000 nautical miles. By incorporating composite materials and other advanced technologies, the aircraft is expected to offer operating costs 15 percent below those of models currently in production in that size range, Bombardier officials said in The Wall Street Journal report.

However, several analysts told the Journal that Bombardier may be overestimating demand, which Bombardier officials projected to be 5,800 aircraft over the next 20 years in the 100-seat to 150-seat segment.

These analysts also said Bombardier may be underestimating competitive responses by Boeing and Airbus. Boeing and Airbus's current smaller offerings have the advantage of sharing common features with larger models in airlines' fleets, Richard Aboulafia, of the aerospace market-analysis firm Teal Group, said in the Journal report.


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