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India is a market that has been attractive for OEMs for many years.  The following two charts explain why.  The first chart shows how strongly the domestic air travel market has grown.  Typically, passenger traffic doubles every 15 years – in India between 1995 and 2010 traffic grew by four times.  If we look back 15 years from 2015, traffic has grown by over fives what it was.

Just to provide some perspective – India’s railway network is the world’s fourth largest and in 2014 transported 8.4 billion passengers. For every Indian domestic air passenger in 2014, 138 passengers took a train. Continue reading

The excitement of trading with Iran’s airlines is bringing OEMs some uncertainty.  This is going to be unwelcome to suppliers who dislike adding uncertainty to an already uncertain industry.

Let’s start with Superjet. News from Iran now suggests the SSJ is not going to be welcomed in Iran.  The Association of Iranian Airlines is the source, and to see the comment from that source as saying “the plane is not well-known to Iranian airline companies” is fatuous. Virtually every modern commercial aircraft is unknown to Iran’s airlines and the SSJ issue has been fixed. Then to ascribe concern about the recent technical fix after saying as recently as December 10th that Iranian airlines were interested in buying the SSJ is perplexing.

Meanwhile ATR is about to sign a finalize its deal with Iran this week and the first aircraft looks ready for delivery.  The first Iran Air… Continue reading

The regional jet business is in many ways a more difficult market to trade in. Whereas among the big jets you have a duopoly, in the regional jet business you see four competitors fighting.  We have frequently referred to the regional space as the “small duopoly” – after all its primarily a fight between Bombardier and Embraer.

However news over the past 24 hours suggests the newcomers may be facing some issues.

First SuperJet – on Xmas day, an email came from Italy describing a Russian Airworthiness Directive.  It reads:

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Sukhoi Civil Aircraft comment on fulfillment of FATA (Russian Federation Federal Air Transport Agency) Airworthiness Directive (dated 23.12.2016)

 As part of a routine inspection of an SSJ in Russia, a defect was detected in an element of the tail stabilizer in an area not critical to the aircraft operation. The element has a multi-level redundancy system… Continue reading

The US scope clauses are seen by many as a market aberration.  After all, commercial logic demands that new technologies are quickly deployed. It happens like that in every industry, right?

Not in the airline business, and especially not in the US airline business.  In the US, pilots have seen their jobs degraded with every business cycle.  This is not a new thing – Bloomberg had this story in 2014, and this 2016 follow up. Being a US commercial pilot is, for many young people, an oddly risky career choice.  In 1980 there were 827,000 pilots in the US and by 2015 that number had shrunk to 590,000.  Despite average salaries well over $100,000 becoming a commercial pilot in the US is not an attractive career choice.  With a starting salary that does not allow for education debt repayment and ensure board and lodging… Continue reading

JSC “Sukhoi Civil Aircraft” reported today that it obtained EASA approval of Sukhoi Superjet 100 Long Range (SSJ100LR). The certificate enables Sukhoi Superjet 100 deliveries to the foreign customers with the range increased by 50% comparing to the basic version (SSJ100 Basic).

The new range for the aircraft rises from 3,048km (1,645 NM) to 4,578km (2,471 NM).  The LR version has been flying within Russia since 2014 (picture of a Gazpromavia SSJ100LR). The LR represents about a quarter of the SSJ deliveries.

The additional performance capabilities of the SSJ means the ~100 seat market will grow ever more competitive.  However focus for the SSJ will remain outside the US absent an FAA certification.  Whether Sukhoi might try to get the EASA certificate recognized by the FAA is an open question.  (We asked) The SSJ has built an order book of 370 and 96 have been delivered.… Continue reading

December has been a truly eventful month for both Bombardier’s CSeries program and airBaltic, the CS300 launch operator.

Earlier this week, the CS300 has received its type validation by the FAA (adding to the ones that it already had from Transport Canada and the European Aviation Safety Agency), the very same day that launch operator airBaltic completed the first ever revenue service of the type.

Letter from Riga

This two major milestones of the CSeries program were preceded, earlier this month, by a major event in Riga, the home base of airBaltic, marking the arrival of the first operational CS300 aircraft.

Proof of the relevance the entry into service of the CS300 has for the Latvian carrier is the high profile and large scale of the reception ceremony, that was held at airBaltic’s facilities at Riga international… Continue reading

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