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Bombardier announces CSeries program on track

June 19, 2012, Montreal – Bombardier's new CSeries aircraft is on schedule to make its maiden flight by year-end, the Quebec-based plane and train maker said Tuesday.


June 19, 2012
By The Canadian Press

June 19, 2012, Montreal – Bombardier's new CSeries aircraft is on schedule to
make its maiden flight by year-end, the Quebec-based plane and train
maker said Tuesday.

"Yes, the CSeries program is on track," said Mike Arcamone,
president of commercial aircraft, adding that Bombardier has found
no serious problems that would prevent delivery of the first CSeries
aircraft by the end of 2013.

Arcamone also said he's satisfied with orders to date.

"We are exactly where we want to be with 11 customers and 317
orders," he said.

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Arcamone's remarks came at a conference for the media and
industry analysts ahead of the Farnborough International Airshow in
July.

Bombardier expects the structures for the first plane will be
completed by September to meet the timing for the first flight.

Bob Saia of Pratt & Whitney added that the new geared turbofan
engine is on track for final validation by Transport Canada in the
next three to four months. The engine has already undergone about
1,500 hours of testing.

"We are well on track to certify our engine later this year and
deliver our first engine so we're very well pleased with our overall
results," Saia said

He added that the engine's fuel efficiency is slightly better
than promised.

Assembly for the Bombardier engine will be completed in Mirabel,
north of Montreal. But Saia said Pratt hasn't yet decided where to
assemble the engine for the Airbus A320/A319 NEO.

Earlier, Bombardier said it was decreasing its 20-year industry
forecast for deliveries of small- and medium-size commercial
aircraft due the global economic slowdown that has tempered the
aerospace recovery.

The world's third-largest aircraft manufacturer expects
deliveries in the 20- to 149-seat category will fall by 2.3 per cent
to 12,800 planes, worth US$630 billion.

The main driver behind the decrease of 300 units is reduced
growth in global gross domestic product, Bombardier said.

The Quebec-based manufacturer said more than 70 per cent of the
demand in the next two decades is expected to come in the 100- to
149-seat category, which includes Bombardier's CSeries.

Deliveries of those aircraft are expected to be worth US$449
billion between 2012 to 2031, with demand increasingly shifting to
emerging markets.

Still, Bombardier believes it will capture half of the available
100- to 149-seat market. It expects more than half of the current
global aircraft fleet to be replaced over the next 20 years, a
slight increase from last year.

"Overall, market drivers show positive trends both in the most
recent past and over the 20-year period," said Mairead Lavery,
Bombardier's vice-president strategy, business development and
structured finance.

The latest market forecast includes an 18 per cent increase to
2012 fuel costs, the largest cost for airlines and a threat to their
profitability.

The company said China will be the world's second-largest market
with 2,200 deliveries through 2031, topped only by the United
States, which will lead with 4,730 expected deliveries.

Europe and Russia will trail with 2,240 units.

The forecast for business jets is unchanged from last year at
24,000 units worth about US$648 billion.

Bombardier (TSX:BBD.B) is the world's largest business jet
manufacturer with a 38 per cent market share.

It expects 9,800 deliveries worth US$266 billion over the next
decade and 14,200 deliveries worth US$382 billion between 2022 and
2031.

The large-cabin business jet market, for which Bombardier has
several products in development, is expected to remain strong.

North America is expected to take 9,500 business aircraft through
2031, followed by Europe, with 3,920 aircraft.

China will become the third-largest market for business jet
deliveries, with 2,420 planes. Bombardier said.

"We continue to be surprised by the upside in the Chinese
market," Lavery said.

However, the one downside risk is the financial crisis in Europe
where there is a large installed base for business aircraft.