Airbus says it will have order announcements and maybe a name change for its newly-acquired CSeries airliner program when the commercial and military aviation world meets at Farnborough starting July 16. Airbus took a majority stake in Bombardier’s latest airliner program on July 1 and the European consortium is losing no time putting its branding and marketing might to work. “I’m convinced you will see the first results in the next couple of weeks as we go to Farnborough,” said Airbus CEO Tom Enders. “Our top priority is selling the aircraft like crazy.” Although, Airbus hasn’t announced it formally, the CSeries will reportedly become the A200 series, reflecting the smaller size of the Canadian-developed aircraft.
Airbus figures the worldwide market for the 100-150-seat market served by the A200 is 6,000 aircraft over the next 20 years and it intends to get its share. Airbus took over CSeries to essentially bail out the program after the U.S. threatened a 300 percent tariff on aircraft destined for the North American launch customer Delta Airlines. The plan was to build aircraft for the U.S. market at Airbus’s Mobile, AL plant to avoid the tariffs. The tariffs were overturned but the deal went through anyway. That likely forced Boeing into a deal with Embraer, Bombardier’s chief competition in the small airliner market, to take over the Brazilian company’s commercial aircraft program. That deal completed a few days after the Airbus/Bombardier agreement was signed.