Bombardier Eyes Emerging Markets For C-Series

November 15, 2011

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Canadian aircraft maker Bombardier is intensifying its focus on emerging markets for its crucial new C-series of jets, executives said.

"Of the order backlog so far of 262 jets, more than 50 percent is outside North America and Western Europe," Bombardier's senior vice-president for sales, Chet Fuller told reporters at the Dubai Air Show.

For its CRJ series of commercial aircraft, the company focused on North America, so this represents a change in strategy and reflects changing trends in the commercial plane market.

Guy Hachey, president of Bombardier Aerospace, said that the company was still on track to launch the C-series in 2013 despite tough conditions.

"Right now it is challenging, and we have used up a lot of our contingency, but we're still looking at end-2013," he said.

The C-Series is Bombardier's bold USD$3 billion attempt at designing and building its biggest plane yet. The narrow-body jet aimed at the 100- to 149-seater market will put the company in direct competition with the smaller planes of the industry's giants Airbus and Boeing.

Hachey said the company would deliver approximately 90 commercial jets -- its target for the year -- and meet its business jet goal of 150 planes.

He said that sales at the Learjet end of the business segment -- small aircraft priced at USD$10 million - USD$14 million -- were "much slower at this point in time," unlike sales of the Challenger and Global business aircraft families.

(Reuters)