Bombardier Aerospace has introduced an extra-capacity seating option that will allow its new CS300 commercial jet to seat up to 160 passengers.
Announcing the new 160-seat cabin option for the CS300 on March 7, the same day that the manufacturer was due to unveil the first Bombardier CSeries flight-test aircraft, Bombardier also confirmed that Latvia-based airBaltic is a customer for the higher-capacity CS300 version.
AirBaltic has selected a 148-seat higher-density version, according to Bombardier Aerospace. The airline placed a firm order for 10 Bombardier CS300s on December 20, 2012, optioning 10 more of the type at the same time.
The capacity of the CS300’s systems has been increased to accommodate a higher passenger count. The extra-capacity seating option, which requires the addition of a second pair of over-wing exit doors, will be available both in-production and as a retrofit should customers need that flexibility in the future.
“Our main focus continues to be the development, optimization and marketing of the CSeries family of aircraft in the 100- to 149-seat market segment,” says Mike Arcamone, president of Bombardier Commercial Aircraft.
“The CSeries aircraft is a game-changer in a changing economic environment, and following keen customer interest and market trends, we have enhanced the productivity of the CS300 aircraft further by offering the extra capacity seating option,” Arcamone says.
“Specifically adapted for airlines looking at further increasing the productivity of their aircraft, the extra-capacity seating option enables the CS300 aircraft to offer the highest seating capacity in its market segment, with the best-in-class seat mile costs and comfort,” adds Arcamone.
“We are delighted to select the extra-capacity seating option and the additional pair of over-wing emergency exit doors,” says Martin Gauss, chief executive officer of airBaltic. “In keeping with our ReShape business plan, we are taking full benefit of the aircraft’s cabin design as we look to further increase the productivity of our CS300 aircraft and our network.”
Bombardier Aerospace announced on March 7 that the development of the CSeries is making excellent progress as the program readies to transition to the flight-test phase in order to achieve first flight by the end of June 2013. The first CSeries flight-test aircraft is a CS100, a shorter-fuselage version of the family optimized to seat from 100 to approximately 125 passengers.
As of December 31, 2012, Bombardier had booked orders and commitments for 382 CSeries aircraft. The total included firm orders for 148 CSeries airliners. Subsequently, Russia’s Ilyushin Finance Company – which previously had signed a letter of intent for up to 32 CS300s – has confirmed it will order 32 CS300s and take options on 10 more, once it receives shareholder approval.