Belfast-made wings of new Bombardier jet on its first passenger flight over Alps
Bombardier's CSeries jet - the wings of which are made in Belfast - took to the skies over Europe for its first passenger flight yesterday.
The CS100 is the first in a range of planes by the Canadian company to be delivered to a customer.
Swiss International Airlines chief executive Thomas Kluehr joined Bombardier bosses Fred Cromer and Bob Dewar as the maiden flight on Belfast wings took them over the Alps.
Hundreds of workers among Bombardier's 5,000 staff in Northern Ireland have worked on production of the CSeries' wings, which are made of a special composite material.
The company's £520m project to build the wings in Belfast marked the biggest-ever investment by a foreign company in Northern Ireland. But the CSeries had a turbulent start to its existence, and is entering service around two years behind schedule - and approximately $2bn (£1.55bn) over budget.
Sales have also been below expectations. However, an order for 125 jets from Delta Air Lines earlier this year buoyed hopes that the plane has a secure future in a market dominated by Airbus and Boeing.