Bombardier launched its CSeries jet series in 2008. The 100-seat passenger aircraft was due to go into service by mid 2014. Due to delays and an engine problem as late as last May, Bombardier isn’t expect to certify the aircraft until the second half of 2015, about a year from now.
On August 29, the same day as Porter Airlines announced it was putting up its island airport terminal up for sale, Swedish company Braathens Aviation announced that it was backing off from its commitment to be the aircraft’s formal launch operator. As the Wall Street Journal reports, “The move is unusual because launch operators, those who make the earliest commitments to operate a new jetliner, rarely abandon those plans, and manufacturers generally work hard to keep them happy.
On September 2, Goldman Saks cut the target price on Bombardier shares and reiterated its sell rating on the company. Goldman Saks cited further delays to the aircraft launch date as well as other problems the company was experience. The Goldman Saks analyst observed that the jet 330 hours of flight testing out of a planned 2,400 total since the test program started last September. He calculated that, “ Bombardier would need to complete an average of about 160 test flight hours per month to achieve the currently planned second half of 2015 entry into service”. Unless the company reduced its 2,400 hour target, the aircraft would have to fly about five hours a day, every day for the next 12 months.
On September 5, Bombardier announced it would resume flight testing this month and have the cSeries aircraft ready for commercial delivery by the end of next year. So far Bombardier has pushed the deadline back two years and spent over four times the original development cost.