Bombardier's new CSeries commercial jet is on target to make its first flight in June, the transportation giant confirmed Thursday.
"The CSeries tests are progressing well with [the] first flight next month," chief executive Pierre Beaudoin said in a statement that accompanied the Montreal-based company's quarterly earnings release.
The confirmation reassured analysts and investors as Bombardier had to postpone the first flight of the CSeries for six months last November because of supplier issues.
"We view management's confidence in its target at such a late stage in the safety-of-flight testing as a good sign," said National Bank Financial analyst Cameron Doerksen in a report.
Bombardier said it had commitments for 388 CSeries aircraft as of the end of March. Of those, 145 were firm orders from nine customers in eight countries. First deliveries are expected in 2014.
Porter 1st Canadian customer
In April, Porter Airlines signed a conditional agreement for up to 30 CS100 aircraft, worth $2.08 billion, making the Toronto-based airline the lead Canadian launch customer.
Porter Airlines has announced plans to use the jets to fly new and longer routes from Toronto's downtown Billy Bishop airport. Currently, jet flights are not allowed from that airport because of noise concerns. The airport is located just offshore from a densely populated residential area. But Porter (and Bombardier) hope to get the no-jet policy reversed, saying the CSeries jets are much quieter than current jet models.
Bombardier said revenues jumped 25 per cent in the first quarter to $4.3 billion on a higher than expected delivery of 53 aircraft. Adjusted profit rose four per cent to $156 million US. The company's transportation division, which builds trains, saw its margins rise significantly from the same quarter a year earlier.
Bombardier shares jumped 24 cents to close at $4.49 in heavy TSX trading of more than 31 million shares.