Bombardier of Canada said Wednesday the first flight of its new CSeries jet will be delayed by six months.
The CSeries family, featuring new fuel-efficient engines and a composite wing, aims to take market share from Boeing’s 737 and the Airbus A320, but has been slow to win orders.
The maiden flight of the CS100, seating 100 to 110 passengers, originally was targeted for the end of this year. That’s now expected to occur “by the end of June 2013,” the company said, blaming problems with suppliers.
The plane will enter service approximately one year after that.
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The schedule for the follow-on CS300 model, which seats 120 to 130 passengers, is unchanged with a planned entry into service by the end of 2014.
That larger model will compete against new versions of the Boeing and Airbus single-aisle jets, the 737 MAX and the A320neo, which feature new-generation engines similar to those on the CSeries.
Those two jets are scheduled to enter service, respectively, in 2017 and late 2015.
In a teleconference with analysts, Bombardier chief executive Pierre Beaudoin cited challenges in the supply of major components and of the jet’s complex software systems.
Previously, due to issues at China’s Shenyang facility, which makes the CSeries metal fuselage, Bombardier temporarily took some of that work in-house at its plant in Belfast, Northern Ireland.
Beaudoin said the CSeries has a total of 138 firm orders.
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