Delta Considering Bombardier CSeries

January 20, 2016

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Delta Air Lines is considering whether to purchase Bombardier's CSeries plane, in what could be a headline-grabbing win for the aircraft.

Bombardier hopes to find a major customer to give momentum to the single-aisle CSeries as it prepares the jet to enter service after delays and cash problems.

"We actually think at the right price it's quite a competitive airplane, particularly given the engine technology," Delta chief executive Richard Anderson said. "We're taking a very serious look at it."

A Bombardier spokeswoman said the company's sales campaign to airlines for the CSeries has gained momentum since the aircraft's certification in December.

"We are a top contender in several key campaigns," she said.

One aviation analyst said Delta, now looking to replace some of its older narrow-bodies is a potential customer for the CSeries aircraft, but Bombardier faces rivals with "deep-pockets" that are aggressively competing on price.

Delta's fleet of 57 A319-100s had an average age of 13.7 years as of September 30, 2015, according to an airline quarterly filing.

"Several American carriers are looking at the CSeries," said the analyst. "The question is who moves first."

Earlier on Tuesday, Bombardier said it was ramping up the CSeries to full production, with pilots from launch customer Swiss kicking off aircraft flight training.

The 110 seater CS100 is scheduled to enter into service during the second quarter of 2016.

(Reuters)