Canada’s Bombardier Inc believes it has turned the corner with its troubled CSeries jet programme and is confident of posting further wins on top of a recent major order from Delta Air Lines, its chief executive said.
Interviewed at a meeting of global airlines in Dublin, Alain Bellemare declined to say when the Canadian company might come up with another sale such as Delta’s pivotal order for 75 jets, but said he was confident it would be embraced by all types of airlines, including low-cost carriers.
“We are confident that we will continue to see orders from the likes of Delta in the future,” Bellemare said.
“I think going forward we will see a variety of different business models adopt this aircraft.”
Bellemare said talks over a $1 billion cash injection from the Canadian government were moving forward and he hoped for a deal soon.
“They are still ongoing and progressing. These are complex negotiations and we are working towards a win-win solution,” he said, adding, “we are not there yet”.
Asked how far it was willing to go in accepting conditions such as constraints on its choice of suppliers, Bellemare said Bombardier would need to remain free to run its business.
“There has got to be the right solution for them and for the business. We are a global company and we work in a very complex environment all around the world, so we have to maintain operational flexibility. It is very critical.”
He rebuffed suggestions that a federal aid package, combined with a $1 billion planned investment by Quebec in the CSeries, would lead to the plane programme being nationalised.
“The financial structure around the aircraft doesn’t change the fact that this product is a Bombardier product,” he said.
Bellemare was appointed CEO just over a year ago at a time when the CSeries was running short of cash amid weak sales.
“There was a rough patch and it was a little bit difficult in 2015, but Bombardier is a solid company with good financial resources today, and we are here to stay.”
Asked whether Bombardier would consider expanding its two 110- to 130-seat CSeries models to compete with larger Airbus and Boeing jets, the head of its commercial airplanes unit, Fred Cromer, said, “At this point it is all on the CS100 and CS300.”