CSeries customers still have time to place orders
Sept. 22, 2010, Montreal - Bombardier Inc. downplayed its lack of more customers for its CSeries aircraft, saying potential buyers still have plenty of time to place orders before delivery.
September 23, 2010 By The Canadian Press
There are already a handful of customers and more are expected to sign in the two to three years before the first delivery, chief financial officer Pierre Alary said Wednesday.
"It's a question of timing for the customers,'' Alary told the annual CIBC institutional investors conference.
"When you look at the program, we're 40 months to 42 months away from the first delivery. The number of orders typically start to ramp up 24 to 30 months before the first delivery,'' he said.
So far, the CSeries has attracted 90 firm orders from Germany's Lufthansa, Ireland's Lease Corporation International and U.S.-based Republic Airways.
The Montreal-based company has said it expects orders will flow as airline profits recover, with 2012 being a key year.
Alary said potential customers are questioning Bombardier on delivery time and how it can better deliver than competitors Airbus and Boeing. He added there's "no real rush to sign up especially in an environment where there's still uncertainty.''
"Some customers are more advanced than others and we effectively have a handful.''
Alary also said Bombardier will have to make a decision on the future of its Learjet, noting that smaller business jet sales were hurt most during the recession.
"If orders don't pick up within three to six months on the Lear side, yes, eventually, we will have to look at what we are going to have to do.''