MONTREAL (Reuters) - Bombardier Inc’s revamped CRJ 900 regional jet should win “half or more” of the market against competing planes from Brazil’s Embraer SA, the company’s Commercial Aircraft President Fred Cromer told reporters on Thursday.
The Canadian plane-and-train-maker, which won an order this week from Delta Air Lines for 20 CRJ 900s with upgraded cabins, expects to make further inroads in the 76-seater market against Embraer’s E175, Cromer said at the company’s Montreal-area factory.
“We should be targeting half or better. That’s a good target for us,” Cromer said. “Half or more.”
Embraer has said its E175 accounted for 80 percent of all orders over the last five years in the key U.S. market, where most regional jets are sold.
“The current E175 has been very successful in the U.S. market, where Embraer has sold over 400 units since 2013,” the company said in a recent statement. An Embraer spokesman could not be immediately reached for comment.
With European planemaker Airbus taking a majority stake in Bombardier’s flagship CSeries jetliner program, the company is focusing on shoring up its regional jets and turboprops with a mixture of hard-sell, and cost-cutting plans. The division has combined orders in hand for just for over 100 planes.
Cromer said the CRJ’s new Atmosphere interior, which increases bin space for carry-on luggage and other upgrades, makes the plane more competitive against the E175 which some airlines preferred for its cabin.
“I think there was a perception, depending on which version of the CRJ that the airline was operating, that the Embraer was new and an upgraded cabin versus the CRJ experience and I think we responded to that very effectively with the Atmosphere cabin,” he said.
“There’s no reason why we shouldn’t be saying we can attack half the market.”
Bombardier, which launched its CRJ program in the early 1990s and has around 2,000 regional jets in the air, has a 30 percent market share in the U.S. over the last two years, a company spokeswoman said.
But Bombardier’s market share in the global 60-to-100 seat market has grown over the last two years to 42 percent, helped by the launch of the Atmosphere cabin, and 90-seat Q400 turboprop, which has lower operating costs, Nathalie Siphengphet said.
Bombardier has disclosed 35 firm orders for the CRJ 900 Atmosphere.
Reporting by Allison Lampert; editing by Richard Chang and Diane Craft