Former CSeries Set For Sales Liftoff at Famed Farnborough Airshow (in a few days)
'We expect the CSeries, rebranded the A220, to take centre stage next week'
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July 12, 2018 - by Alicja Siekierska for Financial Post
- Richard Aboulafia, an aviation analyst and vice-president at Teal Group, points to the Airbus partnership as one of the factors that secured the JetBlue order. The things that were holding JetBlue up were concerns about an orphaned product
Last year, Bombardier Inc. left the commercial airline manufacturing industry's marquee air show without a single sale of its signature CSeries aircraft.
This year, however, prospects for the plane — rebranded as the A220 following the recent close of Airbus SE's surprise deal to take control of the program — appear to be looking up.
With the weight of the Airbus sales and marketing team and its deep customer support expertise behind the A220, analysts across the board see potential for more orders at the Farnborough Air Show, which begins next week.
A new order announced this week for 60 A220 aircraft from U.S. low-cost carrier JetBlue Airways Corp. only bolsters those prospects, said Robert Kokonis, president of aviation consulting firm AirTrav Inc.
"Having a marquee client like JetBlue — no different from when Delta and Air Canada put their orders in — is huge because it's an established, leading low-cost carrier. This is big news," Kokonis said in an interview.
"I suspect if there's any customer that's been thinking about ordering it, they are going to do it in Farnborough."
Last year at the Paris Air Show, which alternates years with Farnborough, Montreal-based Bombardier's biggest win was an order for up to 50 Q400 aircraft from India's Spicejet, one that boosted the stability of that program, but did nothing to instill confidence in the CSeries.
The lack of sales, combined with a trade dispute with the Boeing Co. that was just gearing up, even put the future of the CSeries program in doubt.
Credit Suisse analyst Robert Spingarn wrote in a note to clients that he expects the A220 to...