Air Capital Insider

Delta C Series order could prove major lift for Bombardier

A Bombardier C Series CS100 sits on the ramp near the Learjet plant in February 2015.
A Bombardier C Series CS100 sits on the ramp near the Learjet plant in February 2015. File photo

The Canadian parent of Wichita’s Learjet could be in for a huge lift for its costly and much-delayed C Series airliner.

Delta Air Lines is finalizing an order for 125 C Series jets, according to the Wall Street Journal. The news comes less than a day after Delta reported a $946 million profit.

If it holds, the deal would be a significant boost to Bombardier’s composite fuselage airliner, which has been beset by production delays, rising development costs and likely a big reason for the cancellation of its Learjet 85 program that has cost the local economy more than 600 direct jobs at Bombardier’s plant on the west side of Wichita Eisenhower National Airport. The company has also been testing the C Series at its Wichita Bombardier Fight Test Centre adjacent to the Learjet plant.

Bombardier says it currently has 678 commitments for the C Series, including 250 firm orders. But none of those are from an airline the size or stature of Delta, which last year ranked No. 1 in the world in terms of most passengers.

Bombardier also returned from the Paris Air Show last year — where the C Series made its debut — without any order announcements.

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