September 28, 2015
Bombardier officials report that the last flight test needed prior to certification of the C-Series should be completed in November, based on the current pace of the flight test program. Certification of the new airplane should occur in December.
Despite the upcoming certification of the C-Series, many industry analysts remain skeptical of whether Bombardier will be able to pay down its balance sheet and return to profitability anytime soon.
Plans to expand the London City Airport were dealt a setback, over disputes surrounding competing proposals to expand London's much larger Heathrow Airport, just outside the city. Although most analysts are confident that proposals to extend the downtown airport's runways will eventually be approved, the delay has raised questions regarding the timing for the introduction of new routes, many of which would center on the availability of new, low-noise jet aircraft such as Bombardier's C-Series.
Embraer has released its new market forecast for China, predicting demand for 1,020 new aircraft in the 70 to 130 seat category during the next 20 years. Embraer is developing an improved E2 version of its E-Jet aircraft aimed at meeting this demand. The E-Jet will be competing with the Bombardier C-Series across some of this market space.
Airbus has released the first photographs of its new SHARP (SHort AiRfield Package), aimed at improving the short field capabilities of its A320 NEO family of aicraft. The SHARP package includes a new Kevlar composite fairing between the wing and fuselage, aimed at improving lift.
Boeing has announced plans to build a new assembly center in China for the 737 MAX, to help it better compete for orders from the Airbus A320 NEO. The announcement was made during a visit to Boeing's Seattle plant by Chinese President Xi Jinping, at which the sale of an additional 300 Boeing aircraft to China (including 250 Boeing 737 models and 50 wide-body jets) was also announced. Airbus already has a final assembly plant for the A320 located in China.
Russia's Irkut Corporation has announced a new sales push to market its MC-21 airline in Latin America. The sales effort is currently centered on potential sales to Brazil. The MC-21 is aimed at competing with the Boeing 737 MAX and Airbus A320 NEO, and will be powered by a version of the Pratt & Whitney Geared Turbofan(TM) engine that is also offered as an option for the A320 NEO.