Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Bombardier CEO Says CSeries on Track despite Only Four Test Flights in Six Weeks

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Bombardier CEO Says CSeries on Track despite Only Four Test Flights in Six Weeks

Article excerpt

Bombardier says CSeries testing going well

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MONTREAL - Bombardier's CSeries testing program remains on track even though the next-generation airliner has had only three more test flights since the jet flew for the first time in mid-September, the company says.

Bombardier, which reported disappointing third-quarter financial results Thursday and saw its stock fall more than 10 per cent, said the latest flight took place on Wednesday and lasted 90 minutes.

Chief executive Pierre Beaudoin assured analysts on a conference call that the CSeries testing is "happening exactly as predicted."

"That sounds pretty tame, but this is the best news we can have in a flight test program is that we learn the minimum," he said.

Beaudoin said the company (TSX:BBD.B) continues to target the first delivery of the CS100 in about a year, but is holding discussions with suppliers, customers and other partners to solidify its schedule.

The inaugural flight was delayed for months, finally occurring to much fanfare on Sept. 16 rather than late in 2012, leaving analysts to believe that CSeries deliveries will be delayed into early 2015.

Bombardier's (TSX:BBD.B) shares closed down more than 10 per cent, wiping out nearly two months of gains as they were down 54 cents to C$4.74 on the Toronto Stock Exchange, with more than 27 million shared traded.

Earlier Thursday, Bombardier announced weaker-than-anticipated results in both of its divisions amid low aircraft deliveries and "execution" issues for new large rail contracts.

"Aerospace financial results in the third quarter were in line with our guidance, but the level of orders and the overall market conditions were a disappointment," Beaudoin said in a conference call.

He acknowledged the company needs to win new orders for regional and turboprop planes to maintain its production levels, but said he's confident given discussions with potential customers.

"If you look at the level of orders in the third quarter you see it's kind of low, but we're upbeat with the amount of opportunities in front of us. …

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