Canada`s Bombardier launches its biggest jetliner yet

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.

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.

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