Montreal: Canadian manufacturer Bombardier`s largest ever passenger jet, the CS300, made its maiden test flight Friday after billions of dollars spent on development and long delays.
The debut flight from Montreal`s Mirabel airport ran almost five hours, having been delayed a day by bad weather.
The aircraft, which can seat up to 160, is the second in Bombardier`s CSeries medium-sized jetliner program, marking its entry into market space dominated by Airbus and Boeing.
The smaller 110-125 seat CS100 first flew in September 2013, after several delays and Can$2 billion (US$1.6 billion) in cost overruns, which have depressed the company`s share value and led to the departure of its chief executive on February 12.
So far, Bombardier has received 243 firm orders for the two models, of which two-thirds are for the bigger CS300.
The company estimates demand for medium-sized passenger aircraft will reach 7,000 over the next 20 years, and it is hoping to grab 50 percent of that market with its lightweight, fuel-saving jets.
Early customers include Saudi Arabia`s Al Qahtani Aviation Company, Air Baltic, Lufthansa and Republic Airways.
The first CSeries are expected to be delivered later this year.