The second major tentative order for Bombardier’s CSeries in as many weeks is giving the company confidence the aircraft will become a market success. Egyptair is expected to buy at least 12 CS300s and maybe another 12 and an unnamed European airline is ready to sign for 30 planes and possibly another 31. The two orders are the first in 18 months and come a few weeks after Airbus took a controlling interest in the program, erasing concerns that the design would be orphaned or unsupported in the future.
The two deals push the anticipated revenue from sales closer to the break-even point but more importantly establish the design as a player in the single-aisle market. It could become a niche player serving so-called “long and thin” routes that don’t have the volume to justify larger aircraft but are too far for regional airliners. The 20 percent reduction in operating costs can make those routes work for airlines which currently require connections on regionals to serve borderline markets.