C series

Bombardier has announced that Latvian flag carrier airBaltic will be the first client to operate its CS300 aircraft by next year.

airBaltic has placed 13 CS300 aircraft on firm order and retained options for seven CS300 aircraft.

airBaltic CEO Martin Gauss said: "Bombardier’s CS300 airliners are integral to the execution of airBaltic’s business development strategy and fleet optimisation plan.

"As the airline increases its network potential, we will do so by replacing older jet aircraft.

"The CS300 aircraft has exceeded our expectations in terms of its noise and emissions footprint, aligned with airBaltic’s low environmental impact vision.

"Additionally, it will offer airBaltic passengers a wide-body, unparalleled in-flight passenger experience, perfectly complementing our modern fleet of 12 Bombardier Q400 turboprops."

Bombardier also stated it almost completed the flight test programme of CS100. With only a few tests remaining to be completed, the plane maker expects to receive Transport Canada’s certificate this year.

Under the flight test programme, function and reliability (F&R) testing on the C Series aircraft started with a four-leg flight by CS100 F&R test aircraft.

"Bombardier’s CS300 airliners are integral to the execution of airBaltic’s business development strategy and fleet optimisation plan."

The first F&R flight started and ended in Mirabel, Québec. During the test, it flew via Moncton, New Brunswick, Halifax, Nova Scotia and St John’s, Newfoundland and Labrador.

Further F&R test flights will be conducted using general airline flight routings and operational procedures and are scheduled to include 15 cities in Canada and 20 in the US, then in Europe.

Bombardier Commercial Aircraft president Fred Cromer said: "As one of Europe’s leading innovative airlines, airBaltic is successfully reshaping its business plan and expanding network capacities on the backbone of the C Series aircraft, which will provide the perfect fusion of performance, technology and comfort.

"The unrivalled cabin living space offered by the CS300 aircraft will allow airBaltic to optimise its extra capacity seating offerings without comprising passenger comfort, together with world-class flying experience".

The company recently received the government of Quebec’s commitment to invest $1bn in its struggling C series programme.

Image: Bombardier CS300 aircraft. Photo: courtesy of Bombardier.