Bombardier Sees Engine Delivery Issues Overcome by End of 2017

  • Pratt has ‘got it under control,’ jetliner head Cromer says
  • Planemaker reaffirms forecast for new C Series jetliner

Bombardier Inc. is on track to overcome delays in shipments of engines for its brand-new C Series jetliner by the end of next year, according to the head of the company’s commercial aircraft unit.

“It’s going to take mostly through 2017 to get right back on track,” Fred Cromer, Bombardier’s commercial aircraft president, told reporters Monday in Mirabel, Quebec. “We’re still in the same delivery guidance we had for 2017, so it’s manageable.”

Canada’s biggest aerospace manufacturer cut its 2016 forecast in September for shipments of the C Series, citing delays in the production of Pratt & Whitney engines. Bombardier now expects to hand over seven of the aircraft in this year instead of 15, and is targeting 30 to 35 deliveries in 2017.

The planemaker is working to overcome cost overruns and a delay of more than two years on the $6 billion C Series aircraft, a model intended to compete with aircraft from Boeing Co. and Airbus Group SE. Bombardier this month sold $1.4 billion of senior notes due in December 2021, a deal that provides “all the cash needed for years to come,” Chief Executive Officer Alain Bellemare said Monday.

Latvian Delivery

Cromer and Bellemare spoke after a ceremony marking the first delivery of the CS300 jetliner -- the larger of two variants of the C Series -- to Latvia’s AirBaltic Corp.

Bombardier is convinced Pratt & Whitney has “got it under control,” Cromer said. “I have all the confidence in the world that they are going to fix their issues.”

The Montreal-based company, which had 356 firm orders for the C Series in its backlog as of the end of September, hasn’t announced a new sale since signing Delta Air Lines Inc. to an estimated $5.6 billion pact in late April.

Read more: Foul-ups mar debut of Pratt & Whitney

Still, “more and more airlines are seeking out opportunities to talk to us about the aircraft,” Cromer said.

For now, the C Series comes in two versions -- the CS100, which can seat 108 to 133 passengers, and the CS300, which can carry 130 to 160 travelers.

AirBaltic CEO Martin Gauss, who was on hand at the Mirabel event, said he would be intrigued by the prospect of a larger C Series jet. The Latvian carrier has firm orders for 20 CS300s.

“We’re very happy with the CS300, and if Bombardier does something more, we’re very interested to have a discussion,” Gauss said.

For now, though, Bombardier isn’t talking about a bigger aircraft.

“We get the question quite a bit,” Cromer said of a potential CS500. “One hundred percent of our focus right is on the current members of the family.”

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