Bombardier Says CSeries Jet Mostly Canadian Made

LE BOURGET, France (AP) -- Bombardier said Tuesday that despite the need to engage a number of foreign companies in its new CSeries aircraft program, the regional airliner will remain a mainly Canadian-built plane.

Guy Hachey, president and chief operating officer of Bombardier Aerospace, told The Associated Press that the program to build the 100-140 seat airliner is creating 3,200 new jobs in Canada.

The final assembly line is located in Mirabel, Quebec, as is the engine manufacturer, Pratt & Whitney of Canada. The cockpit and aft fuselage will be built in St. Lawrence, Quebec, Hachey said.

Earlier Tuesday, Bombardier -- the world's third-largest aircraft manufacturer -- announced 17 new suppliers for the CSeries program, launched in 2008 and due to have its first flight in 2013. Sixteen are from the United States, Britain, Germany, Italy and Belgium.

"But I hope people are not losing sight of how much is being built in Canada," Hachey said in an interview at the Paris Air Show.

He said Bombardier remained optimistic about the prospects for the CSeries, noting that it was the only 100-140 seat aircraft specifically designed for the popular category, since all others were either extended versions of smaller planes or downsized versions of larger models such as the Airbus 320 or Boeing 737.

"It's right on the sweet spot," Hachey said.

Bombardier, which produces commercial and business aircraft, forecasts a global need for about 6,300 of the mid-size airliners in the coming 20 years, and the company aims to capture half of that, Hachey said.

On Monday, the company reduced its 10-year forecast for business jet deliveries by nearly 15 percent because of the global recession. It now expects there will be 11,500 business jets delivered by the industry between 2009 and 2018.

Waning demand for business planes has forced manufacturers to lay off thousands of workers as they reduce business jet production to match lower demand. It has announced 4,360 employees will be laid off in Canada, the United States and Northern Ireland.