Bombardier Aerospace of Montreal says Transport Canada has granted a flight test permit for its CSeries aircraft, a line of longer-range single-aisle commercial jets.
The jet, with a range of 3,000 to 5,000 km, is considered a key to Bombardier's hopes of building its share of the aviation market.
With Brazil’s Embraer cutting into Bombardier's share of the regional jet market, the Canadian aircraft builder hopes to win more orders by offering a more flexible jet.
The CSeries jets seat 100-165 people and have greater fuel efficiency and lower emissions than Bombardier’s current jets, the aircraft maker claims. It boasts the jets have "mainline range" but are as nimble as regional jets.
The Transport Canada permit allows the maiden flight of the CSeries, which has been five years in development. Bombardier said it has completed a series of pre-flight tests and will attempt the first flight "in coming weeks" but gave no exact date.
The first flight of the CSeries has been delayed several times. It was initially expected to fly by the end of 2012, but that was delayed until June, then to the end of July and recently for a "few weeks" more.
The announcement that the CSeries will soon get off the ground is the third piece of good news for Bombardier this week.
On Monday, it announced a preliminary agreement on a $3.4-billion US deal with a Russian aircraft maker for turboprop jets.
On Tuesday, it confirmed an order for 18 electric double-decker trains from Deutsche Bahn AG, valued at $289 million.