In a shocker of an announcement this evening, Airbus and Bombardier announced that Bombardier’s C-Series will be built in Airbus’ Alabama facility.
In a partnership dubbed ‘C-Series Aircraft Limited Partnership’, a second final assembly line for the C-Series operated by Airbus will compliment the existing production taking place in Quebec. Airbus will also market the aircraft on behalf of Bombardier.
In their comments, Airbus stated that it is a perfect combination of their global reach and Bombardier’s cutting edge technology for short and medium haul aircraft. Airbus will have a 50.1% stake in the operation, with Bombardier’s share being approximately 31 percent and Investissement Quebec getting the other 19%.
This comes at an interesting time for Bombardier whose US-based customers (primarily Delta) were facing stiff 300% tariffs for any Bombardier aircraft that they would purchase as a result of a Boeing complaint filed with Washington DC claiming unfair subsidies for Bombardier from the Canadian government.
With this announcement, it appears that everyone including President Trump and his position as it relates to NAFTA along with Bombardier and Airbus will be able to claim victory from their respective perspectives.
Bombardier and Airbus both denied that politics had anything to do with this, but I find that hard to believe especially when you consider the timing of this announcement and how quickly the partnership was assembled.
With SWISS receiving their CS300 aircraft from Bombardier, they’ve updated their timetable to reflect its deployment.
The inaugural flight will take place on June 1 when the CS300 flies from Geneva to London. From there, the CS300 will see nearly 30 cities by October 23.
Here is the tentative schedule as of May 30, 2017:
Geneva – London (LHR)
Geneva – Palma Mallorca
Geneva – Porto
Geneva – Madrid
Geneva – Nice
Geneva – Barcelona
Geneva – Moscow (DME)
Geneva – Malaga
Geneva – Lisbon
Geneva – Pristina
Geneva – Prague
Geneva – Athens
Geneva – Irakleion
Geneva – Zakinthos
Geneva – Zurich
Geneva – Valencia
Geneva – Thessaloniki
Geneva – Olbia
Geneva – Marrakech
Geneva – Catania
Geneva – Corfu
Geneva – Biarritz
Geneva – Brindisi
Zurich – Paris (CDG)
Zurich – Venice
Zurich – Brussels
Zurich – Bari
Zurich – Manchester
Zurich – Prague
Zurich – Budapest
Zurich – Hanover
Zurich – Sofia
Zurich – Palermo
Swiss International Airlines Launches Inaugural Service With Bombardier CS100
Special guest on-scene report from FlyerTalk’s ClaudiSTR with KK Flyer
On July 15, Swiss International celebrated the start of service of the new Bombardier CS100 aircraft with an inaugural flight from Zurich (ZRH) to Paris (CDG).
Swiss is the launch customer for the CS100/300, the newest and largest members of the Bombardier aircraft family. Depending on specific configuration, the CS100 accommodates from about 108 passengers (8 business + 100 coach) up to 125 passengers in a 5-across arrangement. A larger version of the airframe, the CS300, seats typically about 130 (12 J + 118 Y) up to a maximum of 160.
In terms of passenger capacity and cabin diameter, the Bombardier C-Series jets fit nicely into the space between the Embraer E-Jet family and the larger Boeing 737– Airbus A320– series, and are a nice replacement for the retiring BAe 146s (Avro RJ100). Based on my first experience, I would like to especially thank the Canadian taxpayers for rescuing from development delays what seems to be a technically wonderful airplane. The C-Series should turn out to be an excellent addition to regional/short-haul fleets around the world in the 100- to 130-seat market.
View from row 15…..
I was fortunate to be among the passengers onboard for the July 15 inaugural flight of HB-JBA, “Kanton Zürich,” the first CS100 operated by SWISS, and indeed the first CS100–flight in revenue service.
The on-board experience…..(Photos Courtesy of Vielfliegertreff’s (VFT) founding member ‘RCS’):
5-across cabin seating features comfortable seats with plenty of knee/leg room even for people a bit over 6 feet/185cm tall. Body support was good, and the seat upholstery had a nice look and quality feel.
Take note of the shortened arm-rest for the window seat. This stub might lead to a comfort issue.
Generous overhead baggage storage…..will alleviate risks of gate-checking luggage.
Large and well-designed overhead bins accommodate standard carry-on baggage, and when closed contribute to a spacious feel in the cabin. Combined with large windows, the cabin leaves a large, bright, and airy impression.
A typical Economy Class seat provides ample leg room.
I was sitting in Row 15 (over the wing, which I found to have a bit more noise and vibration than I expected. Further forward and aft, the cabin was much quieter.
The lavatory to my surprise was large and roomy considering the size of the aircraft. It reminds you of the Lavs you would find aboard widebody aircraft.
Unfortunately, since the flight destination was Paris/CDG, the normally festive mood was somewhat subdued out of respect for the victims of the terror attack in Nice the night before. For example, the usual celebratory water cannon salute for a new aircraft arrival in Paris did not happen, and the pre-flight celebrations in Zurich were low-key, with a ribbon-cutting ceremony at the gate. But despite the muted background, there was genuine excitement for the new airplane.
Frequent flyers, airline managers, people from the airline industry, and as special guest Miss Switzerland 2013 gathered to celebrate the first revenue flight of C100. Amongst the passengers also was Thomas Lee, who completed his 5th inaugural flight of a new airplane after joining the 747-100, A380, 787 and A350 inaugural flights.
In addition to the impressive passenger cabin, the ‘office’ of the aircraft is even more impressive. The pilots flying the CS100 will enjoy a full ‘Glass Cockpit’ with the most advanced technology currently available.
What a fantastic place to work! Photo Courtesy of Vielfliegertreff’s (VFT) founding member ‘RCS’
Overall, I am excited about the Bombardier C-series aircraft, and despite a bit of mid-cabin noise and vibration, I am pleased with the passenger experience. I look forward to future SWISS flights featuring the CS100, and I think passengers flying short-haul routes served by SWISS and the CS100 are in for a pleasant flight experience.
SWISS has unveiled their ‘VERY’ preliminary Bombardier CS100 destinations and schedules as the aircraft finally joins the fleet and enters service on July 15. Besieged by delays, it’s nice to finally see the plane in action.
As you can expect, there will be a lot of rotation of the CS100 throughout Europe in the coming months as 20 CS100 and 10 CS300 are poised to join the fleet. For now, here is the schedule as released by SWISS on April 21:
July 15: Zurich – Paris
July 15: Zurich – Budapest
July 16: Zurich – Manchester (Until October 28)
March 27, 2017: Zurich – Manchester
July 16: Zurich – Prague
August 20: Zurich – Warsaw
August 21: Zurich – Brussels
September 7: Zurich – Stuttgart
September 11: Zurich – Bucharest (Until October 23)
September 11: Zurich – Venice (Until October 28)
September 16: Zurich – Milan Malpensa
October 1: Zurich – Florence
October 1: Zurich – Hanover (Until October 23)
October 2: Zurich – Nice (Until March 25)
October 30: Zurich – Birmingham (Until March 25)
October 30: Zurich – Geneva (Until March 25)
October 30: Zurich – Luxembourg