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
Bombardier’s CS300, the larger of the two CSeries variants, successfully entered revenue service with airBaltic earlier today. The first flight was from Riga to Amsterdam, and carried 120 passengers. AirBaltic has configured its aircraft in a 145 seat two-class configuration.
Martin Gauss, airBaltic’s CEO, said that “airBaltic has been counting down the days to this landmark moment. During its maiden commercial flight today, the CS300 aircraft performed beyond our expectations and offered a new level of travel experience for our customers.”
airBaltic, founded in 1995 connects the Baltic region with 60 destinations in Europe, the CIS and middle east. The company currently operates 25 aircraft – 12 Boeing 737s, 12 Q400s and now 1 CS300, with another 19 on order.
Since entering revenue service with Swiss, the smaller CS100 has completed more than 1,600 flights, carrying more than 156,500 passengers, and covering 1,181,500 km while… Continue reading
According to a published report in Norway, Wideroe, the former SAS feeder airline that was sold to WF Holding in 2013 (with the final 20% of shareholding acquired in 2016) may purchase 10 Bombardier C Series aircraft. The airline currently has a fleet of 41 aircraft and operates primarily in Norway.
The article does not mention which C Series model is contemplated. The CS100 is currently in service with Swiss, and the larger CS300 is expected to enter service with airBaltic later this year. An order would increase Bombardier’s penetration in Scandinavia, as Braathens Aviation has firm orders for 10 aircraft for its Malmo Airlines subsidiary.
Ilyushin Finance has modified its CSeries order with Bombardier, reducing firm orders from 32 to 20 CSeries aircraft, and also dropping five options. This reduces the firm order book for the CSeries from 369 to 357. IFC also ordered one Q400 and added 5 options. This order change was not unexpected, given the impact of economic sanctions against Russia and the drop in the Ruble, both of which made life more difficult for IFC.
Today, IFC’s potential customers in Russia cannot afford the new aircraft from Bombardier, so IFC cut back its order and added some less expensive Q400s, which are in demand to replace aging Antonov turboprops in the Russian market. Bombardier wisely agreed to the deal as a work-around to IFC and its customer’s problems, recognizing that when things get better (and they will) IFC will likely be back to replace those orders… Continue reading