Bombardier reveals C Series seat capacity increase

8 March 2013
By Edward Gent
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Bombardier Aerospace unveiled its fist completed C Series aircraft at its factory in Mirabel, Quebec, yesterday

Bombardier Aerospace unveiled its fist completed C Series aircraft at its factory in Mirabel, Quebec, yesterday

Bombardier Aerospace has introduced a new version of its C Series plane that increases the number of seats to 160.

The Canadian manufacturer unveiled the first completed flight test aircraft at a press event at its factory in Mirabel, Quebec, yesterday as it prepares to make its first flight in June this year, six months later than the originally scheduled date of the end of 2012.

The firm’s announcement of the CS300 aircraft extra seating capacity, which will be available both in-production and as a retrofit, puts them firmly in competition with Airbus’ A320 and the Boeing 737.

“We are very pleased with the progress being made on the C Series aircraft program and we are excited to open our facility and publicly show the world the advances and key milestones we have achieved as we get ready for first flight,” said president of Bombardier Commercial Aircraft Mike Arcamone.

“The CSeries aircraft program is making solid progress, having met a number of key milestones over the last few months.

“We are delighted that Pratt and Whitney recently achieved Transport Canada type certification of its first PurePower Geared Turbofan engine, the PW1500G engine that will power the CSeries aircraft, and we are now focusing on three key areas that will lead to our safety-of-flight permit: static airframe testing, building of flight test vehicles and on-the-ground testing.”

Journalists and air industry representatives were given the opportunity to get a first-hand look at the first C Series flight test vehicle, Complete Integrated Aircraft Systems Test Area (CIASTA) as well as being treated to a number of technology displays.

“Our main focus continues to be the development, optimisation and marketing of the C Series family of aircraft in the 100 to 149-seat market segment. The C Series aircraft is a game-changer in a changing economic environment, and following keen customer interest and market trends, we have enhanced the productivity of the CS300 aircraft further by offering the extra capacity seating option,” said Arcamone.

“Specifically adapted for airlines looking at further increasing the productivity of their aircraft, the extra capacity seating option enables the CS300 aircraft to offer the highest seating capacity in its market segment, with the best-in-class seat mile costs and comfort.”

The firm confirmed that Latvia-based airBaltic was the first customer to take the firm up on the new seating capacity options, which requires the addition of a second pair of over-wing exit doors, having selected a 148-seat higher-density version.

Martin Gauss, CEO of airBaltic, said: “We are delighted to select the extra capacity seating option and the additional pair of over-wing emergency exit doors. In keeping with our ReShape business plan, we are taking full benefit of the aircraft’s cabin design as we look to further increase the productivity of our CS300 aircraft and our network.”

Bombardier claims the C Series aircraft will offer customers a 15 per cent cash operating cost advantage and a 20 per cent fuel burn advantage, with the extra capacity seating option delivering an average of four per cent additional cash operating cost advantage per seat.

They claim the C Series aircraft will be up to 5,443kg lighter than other aircraft in the same seat category with a range 5,463km. As of 31 December last year Bombardier had booked orders and commitments for 382 C Series aircraft that include firm orders for 148 C Series airliners.

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