Viewpoint

More Bad News For Bombardier

Less than two weeks have passed since Talking Point last focused on Bombardier’s beleaguered CSeries programme, but it seems that the Canadian OEM simply can’t catch a break.

Following on from the rumours of a 2016 launch, one of the CSeries’ biggest customers has confirmed that it is re-thinking its order.

Elena Rubtsova, deputy director general at Russian-based lessor Ilyushin Finance Co (IFC) told the Financial Post on Wednesday (April 8) that the firm was “re-valuating” its order of up to 49 CSeries aircraft because it was “not happy with another delay of the programme, that costs us a lot of money”.

Rubstova also blamed a “continuing lack of support” from Canada’s of export credit agency, arguing that finance for newly developed aircraft was is “extremely expensive and rarely available”.

News of IFC’s possible change of heart came as Bombardier announced that Mike Arcamone president of its commercial aircraft division was leaving the company with immediate effect.

Arcamone has led the company since 2012 and overseen much of the troubled CSeries programme. In naming former president of ILFC Fred Cromer as Arcamone’s replacement, Bombardier said yesterday (April 9) that the changes to its management team – which also see Pierre Alary retire as SVP and CFO – would bring “fresh perspective” to the OEM.

The company has also appointed consultancy Plane View Partners and its chairman, Henri Courpron (another former ILFC man), as strategic advisors.

Bombardier’s recently appointed CEO Alain Bellemare said: “Having Fred and Henri on board gives us a strategic edge like we’ve never had before. We are really paving the way to strengthen our existing commercial programmes and to make the CSeries aircraft a phenomenal success.”

Going on the programme’s performance to date, it certainly seems to Talking Point that the OEM could do with all the help it can get.

And while Ross Mitchell, VP business acquisition at Bombardier Commercial Aircraft, told delegates at the Economist’s Future of Aerospace conference in Paris yesterday that the CS100 would be certified this year and enter service “shortly thereafter”, the firm has a lot of work to do to reassure its customers if IFC’s attitude is anything to go by.

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