Airbus Launches CSeries Marketing Push
Airbus says it will change the name of its newly acquired CSeries airliner program and launch a major marketing push that will include order announcements at Farnborough Air Show in mid-July. The company took a majority stake in Bombardier’s CSeries on July 1 and seems to be wasting no time ramping up sales and production. “Our top priority is selling the aircraft like crazy,” Airbus CEO Tom Enders told reporters last week. On the near horizon is a change of name to fit the current naming convention of Airbus aircraft. It’s been widely reported the CSeries will become the A200 series under Airbus.
To increase sales, the company will also have to substantially ramp up production. There are only about 35 CSeries in revenue service against a backlog of more than 300 aircraft. Part of the problem has been ongoing issues with delivery of the Pratt & Whitney geared turbofan engines, which has also been a problem for Airbus’s A320 Neo program. Airbus is building a new assembly line at its Mobile, Alabama, facilities to augment the current line at Mirabel, Quebec, and intends to be producing airplanes there in 2019. In response to the Airbus/Bombardier alliance, Boeing announced last week it was acquiring Embraer’s commercial aircraft unit. Embraer is Bombardier’s chief competition in the under-150-seat airliner market.