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Bombardier offers CSeries assurance

Bombardier Inc. (BBD.B-T) said today that development of its CSeries airliner is on schedule and it is pleased with the progress that United Technologies unit Pratt & Whitney is making on the plane's engines.

Earlier in the day, Qatar Airways chief executive Akbar Al Baker said he was concerned with Bombardier's progress on the CSeries family of 110- to 145-seat airliners, scheduled to enter service in 2013. He said he was particularly concerned about engine development.

Philippe Poutissou, Bombardier's vice-president of marketing for commercial aircraft, said Pratt & Whitney is currently testing the first fully representative CSeries engine at its facilities in Florida.

“We are quite pleased with the progress the engine's making,” Poutissou said. “Of course it's critical that we have an engine available when we're ready with the airframe.”

Al Baker, whose company was close to placing a CSeries order at the Farnborough air show in July, also said he was unhappy about delays in Boeing's 787 Dreamliner program, and told reporters in Paris that Qatar Airways may shift extra business to Airbus.

Bombardier launched its CSeries program in 2008, and Poutissou said the company, the world's No. 3 civil aircraft maker, gave itself enough time to get the project right. He added that Boeing pushed ahead too rapidly with its 787 project.

"If you look at our program schedule, we actually didn't try and do an ambitious four-year development, as they did on the 787 Dreamliner, and are now suffering from the fact that they have not been able to meet that commitment as they ran into some challenges.”

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