Belfast Telegraph

CSeries test flight nears as Bombardier hails order book

by CLARE WEIR

The new Bombardier CSeries aircraft – the wings of which were invented, designed and manufactured in Belfast – is another step closer to its first test flight after emerging from the paint shop in Canada in green.

The company has also announced that a previous firm order for 10 CS100 aircraft, with options for an additional six aircraft, was placed by Gulf Air, the national carrier of the Kingdom of Bahrain.

The firm order was announced by Bombardier on June 20, 2011.

Founded in 1950, the airline currently operates the largest network in the Middle East, connecting 32 cities in 21 countries, with a fleet of 26 aircraft. Gulf Air is the official sponsor of the 2013 Formula One Gulf Air Bahrain Grand Prix.

Bombardier Aerospace also announced that its purchase agreement with Moscow-based leasing company Ilyushin Finance Co has been approved by IFC's shareholders and is now firm.

The firm purchase agreement covers the acquisition of 32 CS300 aircraft and options for an additional 10 CS300 aircraft, following a letter of intent signed by IFC in 2011 and a conditional purchase agreement announced by Bombardier in February.

Based on the list price for the CS300 aircraft, the firm order is valued at approximately $2.56bn (£1.55bn).

Should IFC also exercise its 10 options, the contract would have a total value of approximately $3.42bn (£2.22bn).

As of March 31, Bombardier had booked orders and commitments for 388 CSeries aircraft, which includes firm orders for 145 CSeries airliners.

It is not clear whether the Gulf Air order is included in these numbers.

Belfast Telegraph

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