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Bombardier experiences turbulence


Will CSeries ever be a commercial success?
For more than a decade, Canadian plane manufacturer Bombardier has been spending heavily on developing a new aircraft type, which it hopes will rival smaller jets by Airbus and Boeing. But the CSeries has fallen behind schedule and orders are weak.
The stakes are high. There are worries the CSeries may never be a commercial success and that Bombardier could run out of money before the aircraft finally makes a profit.
CSeries planes will have between 100 and 149 seats, enabling them to compete with the Boeing 737 and Airbus A320. Family-owned Bombardier has been funding its $1.5 billion-a-year development using profits from other parts of the business such as its corporate jets and rail innovation. But its corporate jet sales are down due to Chinese and Russian tycoons spending less and competition from rivals like Gulfstream and Dassault. The rail division also faces tougher competition by firms like Hitachi and Chinese manufacturers.
So far the CSeries has only 243 orders, compared to Boeing’s 2700 and Airbus’ 3600 orders for their new planes. Bombardier probably needs 400 just to break even.
The Economist


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