WRAPUP 1-Bombardier says C-Series on track, Global growing

* Company says pleased with C-Series engine development

* Says production rise planned for Global business jets

* To spend $1.7-$1.8 bln on Global 7000, Global 8000 jets

By John McCrank and Bhaswati Mukhopadhyay

TORONTO, Nov 25 (BestGrowthStock) – Bombardier Inc (BBDb.TO: ) said
on Thursday that production of its new C-Series airliner is on
track and that it is pleased with the progress that United
Technologies (UTX.N: ) unit Pratt and Whitney is making on the
plane’s engine.

Earlier on Thursday, Qatar Airways Chief Executive Akbar Al
Baker said he was concerned with Bombardier’s progress on the
C-Series 110- to 145-seat regional jets, which are scheduled to
enter service in 2013. He said he was particularly concerned
about development of the plane’s engine.

Philippe Poutissou, Bombardier’s vice-president, marketing,
commercial aircraft, said that Pratt and Whitney is currently
testing the first fully representative C-Series engine at its
Florida facilities.

“We are quite pleased with the progress the engine’s
making,” Poutissou told Reuters at Bombardier’s Toronto
manufacturing facilities. “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 C-Series
order at the Farnborough Air Show in England in July, also said
that he was unhappy with delays involving Boeing’s (BA.N: ) 787
Dreamliner program and told reporters in Paris that he may
shift extra business to Airbus (EAD.PA: ). [ID:nLDE6AO1EE]

Bombardier launched its C-Series development program in
2008. Poutissou said that the company, the world’s No. 3 civil
plane maker, has given itself enough time to get the project
right, adding that Boeing had 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.”

DEMAND FOR GLOBAL BUSINESS JET LINE STRONG

Bombardier is the world’s biggest business jet maker, and
the company said it plans to ramp up production of its
top-of-the-line Global business jets in the next two years.

Simon Roberts, vice-president and general manager of the
Toronto plant, said that demand for the large, high-end,
business jets remained strong throughout the downturn.

“Our backlog is growing and we’re actually increasing our
production rates in March of next year, and we’re also looking
at further increases in the following year,” he said.

A spokesman for the company later said that Bombardier
prefers to give specific production guidance when it releases
its quarterly results. Bombardier’s third-quarter results are
expected next Thursday.

An increase in Global production means more manpower will
be needed at the Toronto plant, Roberts said, but he said he
didn’t know how high the headcount would go. There are
currently about 4,000 employees on site.

Last month, the company unveiled plans for the newest
additions to the Global family, the Global 7000 and the Global
8000, which will feature the largest cabins and fly the
farthest of any business jets on the market.

Roberts said the company plans to invest $1.7 billion to
$1.8 billion on the development and production of the new jets,
which feature newly developed wings and an all new power
plant.

COMMERCIAL AIRCRAFT DEMAND SLOWLY REBOUNDING

The company also makes its 70-seat Q-400 turboprop regional
airliner at the Toronto site.

Bombardier has had to cut production in recent years on its
CRJ regional jets, built near Montreal, but demand for
turboprops has been steady, largely due to their fuel economy.

Roberts said that the market for regional commercial
airliners was slowly coming back after a rough ride through the
recession, when air travel fell drastically and many airlines
were forced to cancel aircraft orders.

“Air travel in 2010 so far is back up to the levels of
2008, when demand peaked. So we have lost essentially two years
of growth,” he said.

He also pointed to third quarter results for North American
airlines, which have been positive and which he said should
eventually lead to a resurgence in orders.

“We believe (demand) is coming back, but not coming back as
quickly as we would have liked.”

($1=$1.01 Canadian)
(Editing by Peter Galloway)

WRAPUP 1-Bombardier says C-Series on track, Global growing