Business

Bombardier reveals another CSeries delay pushing delivery to 2016

Bombardier revealed for the first time on Friday that the first deliveries of its CSeries jet to customers officially won't happen until 2016 at the earliest. That's more than three years after the jets were supposed to be available under their original timeline.
Bombardier is currently flight testing the CS300, the larger of its two new jets that it hopes to have certified for customers by the end of this year. (Bombardier)

Another day, another dollar, another CSeries delay.

Bombardier revealed for the first time on Friday that the first deliveries of its CSeries jet to customers officially won't happen until 2016 at the earliest. That's more than three years after the jets were supposed to be available under their original timeline.

The Montreal-based aerospace company has gotten cagey in recent months about timelines for the closely watched (and oft-delayed) project, but had warned last month that more delays might be forthcoming.

After an investor meeting in Montreal, the company's new CEO told reporters it is sticking to a timeframe of getting regulatory certification completed by the end of this year. But delivering the planes to customers so they can start using them will happen some time after that.

"With certification of the program planned for the end of 2015, you don't do a delivery before the start of the next year anyway," recently minted CEO AlainBellemare was quoted by Bloomberg as saying Friday.

That was enough to send the stock price down a couple of cents to $2.49 on the TSX on Friday.

As recently as last September, the company said delivery plans "remain on track for the second half of 2015."

Right now, the company has firm orders for 243 of the new planes. But a number of customers have expressed concerns and in at least one case, lost interest in the plane as the delays mounted. 

The head of Qatar Airways said at an airline conference last month that his company was tired of waiting for the new planes, and had stopped considering ordering any.

The CSeries is seen as key to Bombardier's future as it will be the company's entrant in a growing market for smaller planes that can travel longer distances with better fuel efficiency.

In addition to being about three years behind schedule, the price tag for the project has also grown by $2 billion from what was originally forecast to $5.4 billion US.

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