By Solarina Ho
TORONTO, June 4 Bombardier Inc's much
anticipated CSeries plane has reached 177 firm orders after the
Canadian manufacturer said on Tuesday that a previously
announced deal with Ilyushin Finance Co. won backing from the
Russian company's investors.
IFC's order for 32 CS300 aircraft with an option for an
additional 10 was approved by IFC's shareholders, Bombardier
said on Tuesday. The Russian aircraft leasing company's
conditional order was first announced in February.
Bombardier's new family of narrow-body, twin-engine,
medium-range jets is the company's big challenge to industry
leaders Boeing Co and Airbus. Industry
anticipation has been building ahead of its maiden flight,
expected at the end of June.
Bombardier's class B shares rose 1.7 percent to C$4.83 on
Tuesday afternoon on the Toronto Stock Exchange.
IFC's firm order is valued at around $2.56 billion at list
price, the company said, and including the additional 10, the
contract value is about $3.42 billion.
Bombardier, the world's fourth-largest commercial
planemaker, said this week it would use the Paris air show in
mid-June to unveil a previously undisclosed customer and could
add new business.
With IFC's order approval, Bombardier has passed the halfway
mark of its goal for 300 firm orders by mid-2014.
The aviation industry is keen to see how the CSeries will do
and airlines are awaiting the plane's first flight to see
whether the plane's technology and efficiency claims hold
Earlier on Tuesday, Bombardier announced that Gulf Air, the
national carrier of Bahrain, is the previously undisclosed
airline that ordered up to 16 CSeries jetliners.
The order for 10 of the 110-seat CS100 aircraft, with
options for another six, was first announced in June 2011, the
The countdown to the CSeries' first flight coincides with
preparations for the first flight of the larger Airbus A350,
which could fly before the June 17-23 air show.