Canadian planemaker Bombardier on Wednesday announced a long-expected delay in production of its new CSeries airliner, citing issues with suppliers.
The CS100 aircraft's first flight is now expected by the end of June 2013, with "entry into service" one year later.
Billed as Canada's response to the Airbus/Boeing (NYSE:BA) duopoly in commercial aerospace, the CSeries marks Bombardier's transition from "leader" of the global business jet industry to "contender" in the market for passenger jets. With an average 100-passenger seat capacity, the CSeries competes with some of the smaller, older versions of Boeing's popular 737 airframe, and approaches the size of Airbus's A318.
In announcing third-quarter results Wednesday, Bombardier said: "The CSeries aircraft development program is making solid progress. ... A number of key milestones have already been met, but at this point in the program the Aerospace group has encountered certain issues, mainly related to some suppliers. Therefore, first flight will now take place by the end of June 2013 and it is expected that entry-into-service (EIS) of the CS100 aircraft will occur approximately one year after first flight."
Prior to Wednesday's announcement, Bombardier had said it could meet an end-of-year deadline for first flight of the CSeries. To date, the company has recorded orders (or commitments to finalize orders) for 352 CSeries aircraft from 13 customers from around the globe, according to a report in The Wall Street Journal.