TORONTO, April 9 Canada's Bombardier Inc's
new business jet took off from Wichita, Kansas, for
the first time on Wednesday morning, the plane and train
manufacturer said, following setbacks that pushed the aircraft
program behind roughly half a year.
The Montreal-based company was set to fly the Learjet 85 for
the first time on March 20, but poor weather kept the jet
grounded. A week later, the company said the inaugural flight
would be delayed after it discovered a systems problem that
required a software update.
The business plane, Bombardier's largest Learjet, was
originally set to enter service in late 2013, but early last
year, Bombardier postponed it to the summer of 2014.
Bombardier's aircraft development program has suffered a
number of hurdles, most notably with its brand-new CSeries
The cost of that plane, meant to fill a potentially
lucrative gap and compete with the smaller jets made by industry
giants Boeing Co and Airbus Group, has ballooned
to some $4.4 billion.
It was originally expected to be in service around the end
of 2013 but will now take its first commercial passenger
sometime in the second half of 2015.
(Reporting by Solarina Ho; Editing by Cynthia Osterman)