Belfast Telegraph

Bombardier's CSeries plane given regulatory approval

By John Mulgrew

Bombardier has won regulatory approval from the US and European aviation authorities for its CS100 passenger jets.

The CSeries planes, which are part-made in Belfast, are scheduled to have their first commercial flight next month.

The Canadian-owned plane and train-maker received certification from the US Federal Aviation Administration as well as the European Aviation Safety Agency that its CS100 model met safety requirements.

That certification is needed before the newly developed aircraft can enter operation.

Bombardier, which employs more than 5,000 staff here, secured a deal in April to sell 75 of the CS100 jets to Delta Airlines, with the potential for a further 50 orders. However, it revealed in February that the company was cutting 1,080 jobs in Belfast over the next two years.

Earlier this month, IAG boss Willie Walsh told the Belfast Telegraph he was having discussions with Bombardier boss Alain Bellemere about buying a number of the planes.

At the International Air Transport Association AGM in Dublin, he said other orders, including deals with Delta Airlines and Lufthansa subsidiary SWISS, were also encouraging.

This week, Belfast City Airport boss Brian Ambrose said the CSeries passenger jets could open up a direct route from the city to the east coast of America and the Middle East.

The narrow-body passenger planes are fuel-efficient and potentially give small airports greater reach across the world.

The news came after former Bombardier Northern Ireland chief executive Sir Roy McNulty said the "worst is over" for the manufacturer and insisted it would weather a storm of job cuts and losses.

Bombardier in Belfast, officially known as Short Brothers plc, recently announced a pre-tax loss of $339m (£235.6m), which it said had wiped out profits made over the past 10 years.

Belfast Telegraph

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