Swiss Air to put 1st CSeries jet into commercial operation by 3rd quarter
After years of delays, European airline set to take 1st delivery of CS100
Swiss International Air Lines says it expects delivery of Bombardier CSeries jets by June and expects them to be in operation on European routes by the third quarter.
Swiss Air was previously announced as the launch customer for the CSeries aircraft program after parent Deutsche Lufthansa AG ordered 30 CS100 aircraft.
Its chief technical officer Peter Wojahn told Reuters he had confidence Bombardier had overcome its development delays and would deliver the first aircraft by June.
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Repeated delays in the CSeries development program have discouraged buyers and left the company strapped for cash.
Bombardier announced Wednesday that it had completed a series of route trials from the airline's base in Europe.
Trials of CS100 on European routes
The CS100 aircraft completed over 30 city-pair flights to European cities over the past three weeks.
Wojahn said he was "impressed with the results" as the trials showed what the aircraft could do on typical Swiss Air routes to cities such Vienna, Budapest, Paris, Milan, Manchester and Warsaw.
Swiss Air is buying a 110-seat model of the fuel-efficient jet to operate on short routes in Europe.
The CS100 has 19-inch-wide seats, larger overhead bins that accommodate a carry-on bag for each passenger, and larger windows than most single-aisle aircraft.
Bombardier claims the airline can expect a 10 per cent cost advantage compared to competing aircraft.
The company and the province of Quebec have requested financial aid from the federal government for Bombardier, but there was no mention of any support in the budget released Tuesday.
Earlier this month, Ottawa said it would not release a decision until after the budget.