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CS8The world’s newest commercial aircraft is being delivered on Thursday.

After years of delay and billions of dollars in budget overruns, Canadian manufacturer Bombardier will hand over the first CSeries aircraft to launch customer Swiss International Air Lines at a ceremony in Montreal.

The airline, widely known as SWISS, has ordered 30 CSeries aircraft. The airplane being delivered on Thursday is a 125-seat CS100, the smaller of the CSeries family.

The bigger aircraft, the CS300 with a seating capacity of up to 150, is expected to be certified soon. Air Baltic is the launch customer of that airplane.

“SWISS is proud to be the first airline to take title of the CSeries. The aircraft performed exceptionally well during its acceptance flight, as expected,” said Thomas Kluhr, chief executive officer of SWISS.

“Along with the CS300 aircraft that we’ve also ordered, the CSeries fleet will allow us to perfectly tailor our capacity to demand on various European routes, while providing an excellent travel experience for our passengers.”

Fred2Fred Cromer (right), president of Bombardier Commercial Aircraft, called it the first “right-sized aircraft in the 100- to 150-seat market segment in nearly 30 years.”

“Today is a significant moment for Bombardier, SWISS and their employees – many of whom have dedicated years to designing, building, marketing and defining the flight network for the C Series aircraft,” Cromer added.

The maiden commercial flight of the CS100 will take passengers from Zurich to Paris on July 15. SWISS will gradually replace its Avro RJ100 fleet with the CSeries aircraft. The airline is a subsidiary of Deutsche Lufthansa AG.

In all, Bombardier has won 370 firm orders and 252 options and purchase rights for the CSeries aircraft. Delta Air Lines Inc. is the biggest customer, with an order for up to 125 aircraft.

“A new aircraft program like the CSeries comes around once in a lifetime and it’s a proud achievement that belongs to many,” said Rob Dewar, vice-president of the program.


All photos are by Abdul Latheef