Latvia-based carrier airBaltic has been confirmed as the launch customer for Bombardier’s CS300 single aisle jet.
First delivery of the CS300 is due in the second half of 2016, airBaltic and Bombardier announced at the Dubai Airshow over the weekend.
The airline has 13 CS300s on firm order and retains options for seven more of the type.
airBaltic chief executive Martin Gauss said the CS300 would replace older jets.
“Bombardier’s CS300 airliners are integral to the execution of airBaltic’s business development strategy and fleet optimization plan,” Gauss said in a statement.
“The CS300 aircraft has exceeded our expectations in terms of its noise and emissions footprint, aligned with airBaltic’s low environmental impact vision.”
The CSeries family of aircraft from Bombardier is clean-sheet family of single-aisle aircraft pitched at the 100- to 149-seat market.
The CS100 was designed to carry 110 passengers in a two-class configuration, while the larger
The CS300 is designed to carry 135 passengers in a business and economy layout and competes with the Airbus A319neo and Boeing 737 MAX 7. Meanwhile the CS100 has the capacity for 110 seats in a two-class configuration.
“We are thrilled to confirm that airBaltic will be the first airline in the world to operate the CS300 aircraft,” Bombardier Commercial Aircraft president Fred Cromer said in a statement.
As one of Europe’s leading innovative airlines, airBaltic is successfully reshaping its business plan and expanding network capacities on the backbone of the C Series aircraft – which will provide the perfect fusion of performance, technology and comfort.”
The CS300 completed its maiden test flight in February, joining the smaller CS100 in flight test.
Bombardier said it had 603 booked orders and commitments for the CSeries family of aircraft, including 243 firm orders.
The troubled CSeries program has suffered cost overruns and delays and an indication the program was in trouble came in October when Airbus released a statement confirming it had turned down an offer from Bombardier to sell a majority share of the CSeries to them.
And on October 29, Bombardier announced it had taken a $3.2 billion writedown on the CSeries, while the Quebec government said it would invest $1 billion to take a 49.5 per cent stake in the program.
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