After production delays and overspends running into millions, Bombardier’s ground-breaking CSeries commericial jet has begun service with Swiss International Air Lines.
Featuring the pioneering compsite wings designed and built in Belfast, the plane made its first scheduled flight on Friday from Zurich to Charles de Gaulle, Paris.
Fred Cromer, president of Bombardier Commercial Aircraft, said the flight and orders taken during this week’s Farnborough Air Show signalled the firm’s “intent to re-assert itself as a strong leader in commercial aviation.”
Michael Ryan, VP and general manager, Bombardier Belfast, said it marked another major milestone in the C Series programme.
“The advanced composite wings for the C Series aircraft, produced using a patented process developed by our Belfast engineers, represent a step change in aircraft wing design and manufacture, and our employees and supply chain should be justly proud.”
Congratulating Bombardier on the flight Economy Minister Simon Hamilton said: “This success affirms Northern Ireland’s critical role in the successful execution of the C Series programme spanning a period of eight years since its launch at Farnborough Air Show in 2008.
“The certification and commercialisation of this aircraft represents a major success story for Bombardier in Northern Ireland and its local supply chain, which has a strong international reputation for quality, on-time delivery and competitiveness.”
Mr Cromer added: “We salute SWISS on the CS100 aircraft’s successful entry-into-service and thank the airline for its outstanding support to the C Series aircraft program.
“We also congratulate all the employees and suppliers who have worked tirelessly to bring us to this great milestone. It is an outstanding achievement and continues to build the momentum for the C Series aircraft program.”