Home / Financial crisis / Bombardier Inc’s CSeries hopes dashed by United Airlines, but Delta Air Lines Inc remains potential buyer
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Bombardier Inc’s CSeries hopes dashed by United Airlines, but Delta Air Lines Inc remains potential buyer

Bombardier hasn’t recorded a new firm order for the CSeries since September 2014, and it desperately needs a big-name customer to restore confidence in the program. It appears Delta Air Lines may be interested in buying.

Two days after the CEO of Delta Air Lines Inc. said the company is taking a “serious look” at Bombardier Inc.’s CSeries jetliner, another major U.S. carrier dashed hopes that it too could be a linchpin customer for the troubled aircraft.

United Airlines announced Thursday that it will buy 40 narrow-body aircraft from Boeing Co. in a deal worth US$3.2 billion at list prices.

United had made it clear that it wanted to replace its 50-seat regional planes with larger aircraft in 2016. Chief financial officer Gerry Laderman said the CSeries was a candidate but the airline opted for Boeing’s 737-700 instead.

However, he said the airline “will continue to look at aircraft” and hasn’t ruled out Bombardier for future purchases.

Bombardier hasn’t recorded a new firm order for the CSeries since September 2014, and it desperately needs a big-name customer to restore confidence in the program.

The excitement starts to build when we have those conversations with a customer like Delta

In an interview this week, Bombardier’s president of commercial aircraft said he’s feeling “very positive” about how talks with potential customers are going, although he has nothing concrete to announce yet.

“We’re starting to get the inbound interest that we were expecting, so it’s very encouraging and I couldn’t be happier with where we are today,” Fred Cromer said.

Cromer showed the CSeries to Delta’s team in Atlanta right before Christmas and he said they were keen to learn about its technical specifications.

“They’re very interested in the 100-seaters and the 100- to 150-seat category is obviously where the CSeries fits,” Cromer said.

“You start getting deeper and deeper into those conversations and I can tell you, the excitement starts to build when we have those conversations with a customer like Delta.”

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