Air Transport World

Nowhere to go but up.(Bombardier Inc.)

BOMBARDIER SURVEYED THE regional aircraft market and made a bold decision: Stretch its 86-seat CRJ900 to 100 seats, establishing the CRJ1000, which was launched in February with 38 firm orders valued at $1.2 billion from three customers. The move was not a blind stab at attracting orders from airlines that appear to have grown weary--at least for now and the foreseeable future--of new-build 50-seat regional jets. Rather, Bombardier said customers pushed it to build a newer, bigger CRJ.

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The Canadian manufacturer believes the 1000 not only will satiate a need among regional carriers for larger, more economical RJs but will entice LCCs looking for efficient jets for short-to-medium-haul markets. "The decision that we took was extremely important to finish and complete the CRJ family," VP-Marketing and Communications Trung Ngo tells ATW. "This is a step that is very timely because a number of customers are interested ... It takes us to the 100-seat baseline aircraft, which are certainly very much in demand. It allows us [access to] the LCC segment. It puts us in a very competitive position ... We certainly see demand trending towards larger aircraft."

Initially the CRJ1000 sales effort will be focused on Europe, but Bombardier says it hopes to make inroads in North America if pilot scope clauses are relaxed. The aircraft is scheduled to make its first flight in the summer of 2008 with service entry in the fourth quarter of 2009. The manufacturer claims it will weigh 25,000 lb. less than the comparably sized Embraer 190.

The 1000 will be 3 m. …

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