In April, Bombardier Aerospace announced a mega order with Delta Air Lines for 75 of the company’s C Series airliners in a deal worth up to $5.6 billion. Shortly after the deal’s announcement, Bombardier flew one of its C Series demonstrators down to Delta’s Atlanta headquarters for journalists and the airline’s staff to get a closer look.
Although Bombardier has been a global leader in business and regional jets, the C Series is the first product from the Canadian airplane to compete against Boeing and Airbus in the mainline market. The decision to enter the market with the C Series was a major financial gamble for Bombardier, with a program price tag of $5.5 billion. Since its inception more than a decade ago, the aircraft has been beset by a series of development delays and slow sales.
In 2015, the airplane maker was forced to write down $4.4 billion and take a $1 billion bailout from the Quebec government. Even as it struggled to close a sale, Bombardier was credited with building an aircraft that’s one of the most capable on the market today — besting rivals Boeing and Airbus in terms of efficiency and ability.
With the Delta order, Bombardier has not only found a US launch customer for the C Series, but it has the blockbuster deal it needed to validate the attractiveness of aircraft to other prospective buyers. The Bombardier C Series entered service in July with Swiss Global Airlines.
Here’s a closer look at the airliner:
Bombardier offers two version of the C Series: a 130-seat CS300 and a smaller 108-seat CS100.
Delta opted for the smaller CS100, but expect the airline to switch some of its order to the larger jet down the road.
According to Bombardier, the C Series’ greatest selling points are its efficiency and cabin comfort.