MIAMI — Swiss, the launch customer for the Bombardier CSeries, will begin CSeries operations to London City Airport on August 8th.
The flight, LX466, will take off from Zurich (ZRH) at 5:15 p.m. and land in London (LCY) at 5:55 p.m. (one-hour time difference between cities).
LX466 will be the first commercial CSeries flight to London City Airport since Bombardier completed flight tests to prove to the EASA that the CSeries could handle the steep approach into the airport and short runway for takeoff.
“With SWISS beginning service to London City Airport with its new CSeries, this confirms the aircraft’s versatility allowing for short runway airports in urban areas,” said Sylvain Faust, Founder of FliegerFaust.com and close follower of the CSeries program.
Located near the heart of downtown London, London City Airport offers a unique approach around many tall buildings and towers. To compensate for the obstacles, approaches into the airport come in at 5.5% degrees instead of the regular 3%.
Shortly after the tests were completed, Rob Dewar, Vice President, C Series Aircraft Program, Bombardier Commercial Aircraft, said “The C Series aircraft program achieved another significant milestone with the completion of the demonstration tests at LCY. The C Series is the only commercial aircraft that was specifically designed for operations at LCY and we are very proud of its performance. The aircraft smoothly performed all eight take-offs and landings during a two-day period, as planned. This confirms the C Series aircraft’s unparalleled capabilities. The aircraft is meeting all performance expectations and clearly demonstrates that it is the best performing and most efficient aircraft in the 100- to 150-seat class.”
“It has been a pleasure to welcome the Bombardier CS100 aircraft and its team to London City Airport for the first time, as part of their testing and evaluation process. Following the landmark C Series non-stop flight to JFK, we look forward to the completion of its regulatory certification, followed by entry into commercial passenger operation with SWISS,” added Declan Collier, CEO of London City Airport.
Bombardier markets the CSeries as being capable of operating flights between London City Airport and New York City. While flying the CS100 test aircraft to London for tests, Bombardier successfully flew the aircraft with a presentative payload over the Atlantic to prove it could perform the mission.
With the CSeries now beginning operations at London City Airport, Bombardier will once again turn its attention toward the Canadian Government lengthening the runway at Toronto’s Billy Bishop Airport. In 2013, Porter Airlines conditionally ordered up to 30 CS100s from Bombardier should the runway be extended at Bishop Airport.
After years of political controversy regarding the airport, Canada’s Transport Minister shelved the expansion plans in November of 2015. With no solution in sight, Porter also shelved plans for the CSeries.
“With its noise levels being less than a Q400 I still don’t understand the logic the Canadian government is using not to go forward with the plan to allow the CSeries to operate at Toronto downtown airport, Billy Bishop. This is something Porter intended to do at first when it placed an order for up to 30 CSeries,” argued Faust.
“The “Politics” around this project might change when we’ll get closer to Air Canada taking delivery of their CSeries,” said Faust with a grin on his face.
With the loss of Porter as a customer, the brunt of the remaining CSeries orders falls on Air Canada, airBaltic, Delta Air Lines, and Swiss. To date, Bombardier has delivered eight CS100s and two CS300s to Swiss. airBaltic, the second airline to take delivery of the CSeries, has taken delivery of six CS300s.