Less than a month after Bombardier’s CEO admitted the fate of CRJ program is yet to be decided, the Canadian planemaker now appears to be giving the series another shot. The company officially announced the launch of the new CRJ550 aircraft, calling it “the first triple-class 50-seat aircraft in the world”.
On February 6, 2019, Bombardier announced launching a new CRJ Series model − the CRJ 550. The new airliner is going to have a type certificate based on CRJ700 and feature perks such as self-serve beverage and snack station and more legroom compared to other 50-seaters in the US.
“The new CRJ550 model is the only solution in North America that can replace the existing fleet of ageing 50-seaters, a market of over 700 aircraft”, Fred Cromer, Bombardier Commercial Aircraft president is quoted in a statement. The reason why the company stresses the US market is the fact that CRJ550 already has a launch customer there − Delta Airlines (DAL) .
Good day for CRJ deals
The announcement of CRJ550 comes among other good news related to the jet series. Chorus Aviation (1H0) signed a firm order for nine CRJ900 aircraft, which is a seizable boost Bombardier CRJ orderbook, considering that as of September 30, 2018, it consisted of only 56 orders.
Both Chorus Aviation (1H0) and Bombardier announced the deal on February 6, 2019. The jets are going to be delivered in 2020 and operated by the Canadian company’s subsidiary Jazz Aviation under the Air Canada Express brand.
“The addition of these new CRJ900 aircraft is a significant step in modernizing the Jazz fleet with larger aircraft while supporting the continued growth of our leasing revenue,” Joseph Randell, President and Chief Executive Officer of Chorus Aviation (1H0) is quoted in a statement.
Bombardier’s regional jets
Bombardier CEO Alain Bellemare told Reuters on January 16, 2019, that the company was looking into “all strategic options” for CRJ regional jet program, without ruling out a potential sale. The company was expected to reach a final decision on the CRJ program later in 2019.
The CRJ regional jet program is the last remaining commercial aviation program at Bombardier. The company handed its signature CSeries to Airbus in July 2018. In November 2018, the Canadian manufacturer announced a similar faith is awaiting its Q Series. The company sold its Q400 turboprop line alongside assets and intellectual property for other Dash 8 models (the -100, -200 and -300) to Viking Air for $300 million