TORONTO, June 3 Deutsche Lufthansa AG
said on Tuesday that it met with Bombardier Inc on
Monday and assured the Canadian planemaker it still believes in
the $4.4 billion CSeries jetliner program despite an engine
failure last week.
A problem with the plane's newly developed Pratt & Whitney
geared turbofan (GTF) engine during stationary maintenance
testing last Thursday has sparked concerns about further delays
in the already-overdue CSeries development.
"We still very much believe in this aircraft," spokesman
Nils Haupt said in an email. "Lufthansa is fully confident that
Bombardier will be able to solve the issue ... but we hope that
no further delays will occur."
Germany's Lufthansa signed a letter of interest in 2008 for
30 planes, with options for 30 more, and firmed the order in
March 2009. The planes are for its Swiss airline subsidiary.
Montreal-based Bombardier said on Tuesday that there were no
developments with the investigation into what went wrong with
On Monday, the company's aerospace unit president told
Reuters that the probe had narrowed to a few possible causes and
the plane could soon be back flying if the problem was what
The Transportation Safety Board of Canada, which sent an
investigator to Bombardier's flight testing facility outside
Montreal, said on Tuesday it had nothing new to report.
UBS analysts were told in meetings with Pratt & Whitney
parent United Technologies Corp on Monday that the
incident was relatively minor.
United Technologies does not see the incident as related to
the the gearbox, analyst David Struass wrote in a research note,
adding that the company "expects to know root cause by the end
of this week."
Bombardier shares gained 1.9 percent on Tuesday to end at
C$3.71 on the Toronto Stock Exchange. News of the engine failure
on Friday sent Bombardier stock down 1.9 percent on worries over
the cause and whether it could require a costly, time-consuming
Multiple delays have disappointed investors and added to
competition concerns as the CSeries takes on smaller jetliners
made by industry leaders Boeing Co and Airbus Group NV
Bombardier wants to dominate the 100- to 149-seat plane
market with the CSeries, built with lightweight composite
materials and other technologies designed to make it burn less
fuel and operate more quietly, with lower operating costs.
(Reporting by Susan Taylor and Solarina Ho; editing by Andrew