It’s been just about 2 years now since I was on StarMegaDO3 and we got the chance to go hang out in Montreal with the folks from Bombardier. If you’re an occasional traveler, you may not have any idea who Bombardier is. But, if you’ve ever flown on a regional jet (you know, those ones where you kinda have to bend over a bit to walk down the aisles and the seats are a little smaller) then you’ve likely been on a Bombardier plane. Usually referred to as a CRJ, or Canadair regional jet, Bombardier has tons of planes in service in the US.
In fact, the main domestic carriers now have their regional feeders flying a ton of flights on planes like the CRJ-700 and planes from competitor Embraer. These planes aren’t generally as comfortable as a narrow-body jet but they’ve gotten a lot more comfortable than older versions.
Bombardier decided a few years ago that despite a successful regional jet and business jet business it wanted to compete with the likes of Boeing and Airbus.
A daunting task. And, things are slowly starting to go their way. I found two interesting articles about the new C Series recently that were released in the lead-up to the Paris Air Show:
Odyssey Airlines to launch it’s all business class airline with 10 C Series jets. I’ve never flown to London City airport and I tend to try and stick with my chosen airline alliance. But, Heathrow has never been my favorite place, so I’d be intrigued by service from New York to here, especially depending on what the business class seat looks like.
The C Series is supposed to be quieter and more fuel efficient than current entries in the narrow body market. Bombardier took into account some cool details for a smaller plane, including overhead bins that pivot out of the way but maximize space so you can literally fit a 30″ suitcase in an overhead bin and still stand up at your seat when the bin is closed. They’re also promoting wider aisles which would mean space to get around someone else stowing a bag or a beverage cart.
Now, that doesn’t mean that certain airlines won’t find a way to talk Bombardier out of such customizations in favor of more seats or cheaper bins. They were pretty adamant about the bin configuration, but if sales stay soft I can see them compromising on the seating layout to win more customers.
When we were up in Montreal we got to spend a day learning all about the C Series program and it was definitely an intriguing foray intending to bring some much needed innovation to the narrow body market.
Time will tell if Bombardier is ultimately successful and it’ll probably be another couple years. But, I’m rooting for them. I just hope they take more business from Airbus than Boeing, since I’ve never been a big Airbus fan and am a sucker for the Boeing 787.