DUBAI (Reuters) - Canadian aircraft maker Bombardier BBDd.TO is intensifying its focus on emerging markets for its crucial new C-series of jets, executives said on Sunday.
“Of the order backlog so far of 262 jets, more than 50 percent is outside North America and Western Europe,” Bombardier’s senior vice-president for sales, Chet Fuller told Reuters at the Dubai Air Show.
For its CRJ series of commercial aircraft, the company focused on North America, so this represents a change in strategy and reflects changing trends in the commercial airplane market.
Guy Hachey, president and chief operating officer of Bombardier Aerospace, said that the company was still on track to launch the C-series in 2013 despite tough conditions.
“Right now it is challenging, and we have used up a lot of our contingency, but we’re still looking at end-2013,” he said.
The C-Series is Bombardier’s bold $3 billion attempt at designing and building its biggest plane yet. The narrow-body jet aimed at the 100- to 149-seater market will put the company in direct competition with the smaller planes of the industry’s giants Airbus and Boeing Co (BA.N).
Hachey said the company would deliver approximately 90 commercial jets — its target for the year — and meet its business jet goal of 150 planes.
He said that sales at the Learjet end of the business segment — small aircraft priced at $10 million-$14 million — were “much slower at this point in time,” unlike sales of the Challenger and Global business aircraft families.
Reporting by Sitaraman Shankar and Mahmoud Habboush; Editing by David Cowell