Belfast Telegraph

Delay of a year not a big deal for Bombardier

By Margaret Canning, Business Journalist

Yesterday was time for some more 'plane' speaking in Northern Ireland, as Bombardier announced a potential massive deal worth up to £1.2bn with Al Qahtani.

The company is ordering up to 26 CSeries craft – the wings of which are manufactured and designed in Northern Ireland – for use by SaudiGulf, the national carrier of Saudi Arabia.

The announcement of the massive order by Al Qahtani Aviation Company coincided with less pleasant news, that the actual entry into service of the 110-seat CSeries100 will be delayed until late 2015 – a year later than expected. Its sister craft, the 135-seat CS300, is due to follow six months later.

The history of the project goes back to 2004. Tentative suggestions back in 2005 that Belfast could benefit from new opportunities as a result of the CSeries plans were made good.

News that it has been delayed may leave some staff feeling slightly disappointed and crestfallen – particularly after highs such as the craft's maiden flight in Canada in September. But in the decade which has passed since the ambitious plan was announced (and to quote Eurovision winner Johnny Logan) what's another year?

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