Industry sources indicate that Gulf Air may announce an order for Bombardier’s CSeries aircraft at the 2012 Bahrain Airshow.
The airline was planning to introduce 10 regional jets into its fleet, with Embraer, Airbus and Bombardier competing for the order.
Bombardier has been reportedly selected as the successful bidder over Airbus and Embraer by Bahrain’s governmental tender board. The order, reportedly valued at US$328 million, is assumed to be for the smaller 110-seat CS100 variant of the CSeries aircraft family.
The CSeries program was launched by Bombardier in 2008. The aircraft is powered by Pratt & Whitney engines which offer a 15 percent cash operating cost advantage and a 20 percent fuel burn advantage over previous generation powerplants, and give the aircraft a maximum range of 5463 kilometers. The first CS100 is scheduled for delivery by the end of 2013, while the CS300 model is expected to enter service in 2014. However, industry speculation has mounted that delays will be announced by Bombardier, which has booked firm orders for 133 CSeries aircraft to date.