MIAMI — On Friday, Bombardier Commercial Aircraft celebrated the delivery of Korean Air’s first CS300 aircraft, the Asian launch carrier for the C Series aircraft family. Its entry-into-service is expected to take place in January 2018.

Executives from the Seoul-based carrier, the Canadian manufacturer and several hundred employees who build the C Series aircraft attended the ceremony at the C Series Production Facility at Mirabel, Quebec.

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Fred Cromer, President, Bombardier Commercial Aircraft, established: “This is a very important milestone for the C Series program because it is our breakthrough into the fast-growing Asian market, and we are honored to have Korean Air Lines as our brand ambassador in the region.”

Handshake between Fred Cromer, President, Bombardier Commercial Aircraft and Soo-Keun Lee, Chief Technology Officer, Korean Air Lines. PHOTO: Korean Air.

Likewise, Soo-Keun Lee, Chief Technology Officer, Korean Air Lines, stated: “When we selected the aircraft in 2011, we knew it would be a great addition to our fleet. Today, it is the most efficient aircraft in its class, and its passenger comfort is outstanding.”

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“The CS300 aircraft will enable us to reinforce our regional single-aisle operations while providing a high level of profitability and customer satisfaction. These are key drivers of our decision to acquire the Bombardier CS300, and we are looking forward integrating it into our fleet,” he added.

Delivery Ceremony of Korean Air’s first CS300. PHOTO: Korean Air.

The acquisition of Bombardier’s CS300 aircraft will allow Korean Air to designate its larger single-aisle jets and wide-body aircraft to routes requiring their potential. Later, the carrier may take advantage of the CS300 aircraft’s range and expand internationally.

Korean Air is expected to take delivery of their second CS300 before year-end, which seats a total of 127 passengers with dual-class configuration, Premium Economy, and Economy.

Korean is the third CS300 operator, after Air Baltic and Swiss. Thus far, fifteen CSeries have been delivered in total for 2017 – well short of the original goal of the 35 projected initially for the year.

The well documented production and operational problems with the Pratt & Whitney PW1500G geared turbofan have hindered the pace of CSeries deliveries, though the GTF’s aren’t the only culprit. In September, Bombardier revised the delivery target to 20-22 CSeries aircraft by the end of 2017. A week ago, Bombardier reduced the goal to 20 deliveries. Bombardier now has less than a week to deliver five more aircraft to meet the paired down 2017 goal.

Korean has ten CS300 on order with options for an additional ten airframes.