The Latest from the Paris Air Show: Canada's Bombardier premiers CSeries jet

LE BOURGET, France – 4:35 p.m. (1435 GMT; 10:35 a.m. EDT)

Boeing and Airbus, look out — Bombardier’s new CSeries jet is taking to the skies, and hopes to take some of your business.

Canada’s Bombardier Aerospace, the world’s third-largest maker of civilian commercial aircraft, held the world premiere of the single-aisle CSeries jet at the Paris Air Show on Monday.

The successful flight above Le Bourget airfield was a long-awaited relief for the advanced-technology jet, which faced development delays and what the company called “an engine-related incident” on one of the aircraft during ground maintenance testing last year.

Some analysts view the program as risky, as Bombardier gambled billions to enter a new segment of the market. The CS100 and CS300 on display at the air show are designed to carry up to 149 people and are marketed as being 20 per cent more fuel-efficient than the comparable Airbus A320 and Boeing 737 family of aircraft.


2:25 p.m. (1225 GMT; 8:25 a.m. EDT)

When a Greek F-16 fighter jet crashed into five NATO planes parked on a Spanish air base tarmac, U.S. Air Force Sgt. Greggory Swarz heard the deafening blast, spotted the giant firewall that resulted and sprinted straight toward the flames to pull out four French airmen.

French Defence Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian decorated the 30-year-old Swarz on Monday with the Legion of Honor, France’s highest award, for “putting your life at peril” to drag the four out of the inferno.

The crash at Los Llanos base in January killed nine French airmen and two Greek pilots.

At Monday’s ceremony at the Paris Air Show, four other U.S. airmen received France’s National Defence gold medals for their roles in the rescue: Sgt. Jonathan MacNeely, Sgt. Eli Gordon, Sgt. John Escalante and Cpl. Matthew Jeffers.


1:15 p.m. (1115 GMT; 7:15 a.m. EDT)

Boeing says Qatar Airways is buying 14 new 777 passenger and freighter jets worth up to $4.8 billion, as industry professionals gather at the Paris Air Show.

The U.S. plane maker announced Monday that Qatar Airways ordered 10 of the 777-8X jets — a more fuel-efficient model of the 777 — and four 777 freighter jets.

Customers routinely work out discounts off list prices.

Qatar has been a major customer of rivals Boeing and Airbus in recent years.

Boeing and Airbus are announcing a flurry of plane orders on Monday, the first day of the air show.


12:25 a.m. (1025 GMT; 6:25 a.m. EDT)

Airbus says increasing the frequency of flights on major routes is “getting a little on the silly side” — and both travellers and airlines would be better off if larger aircraft were used instead of smaller planes flying more often.

John Leahy, Airbus chief operating officer for customers, made his case for the move to bigger planes as he presented the European plane maker’s forecast for the next two decades at the Paris Air Show Monday. Airbus’ A380s are the largest passenger jets flying today.

Airbus projects that 32,600 new planes worth a total of $4.9 trillion will be needed by 2034. Leahy projected the very large aircraft segment would grow to about 1,500 planes over that span, though smaller single-aisle planes are expected to be the biggest sellers at this year’s air show.

He argued that airlines could save fuel costs by flying passengers on fewer, larger flights.


11:45 a.m. (0945 GMT; 5:45 a.m. EDT)

Airbus has announced a firm order for 60 single-aisle jets from leasing company GE Capital Aviation Services at the Paris Air Show, worth at least $6 billion at list prices.

The U.S. leasing company is purchasing A320neo and A321neo jets, according to Airbus. The plane maker didn’t provide a breakdown of how many of each type of jet. The fuel-saving versions of the A320 family jets have been a big seller for Airbus in recent years.

Customers routinely negotiate discounts off list prices. The deal was announced Monday, the first day of the Paris Air Show.


10:40 a.m. (0850 GMT; 4:50 a.m. EDT)

Garuda Indonesia airline is on a buying spree at the Paris Air Show.

Airbus announced Monday that the Indonesian flagship carrier signed a letter of intent for 30 wide-body A350 jets, which could serve routes from Jakarta or Bali to Europe. If confirmed, the order would be worth up to $9 billion at list prices, though airlines usually negotiate discounts.

Earlier Monday, Boeing announced a tentative order by Garuda Indonesia for up to 60 jets.

Asian carriers are expected to dominate global aircraft demand over the next two decades, with Boeing estimating that roughly two out of every five new planes will head to Asia.


10:15 a.m. (0815 GMT; 4:15 a.m. EDT)

Airbus Defence and Space has flown an A400M military plane over thousands of viewers at the Paris Air Show, a month after a deadly crash that raised questions about the jet.

The cargo plane landed safely after the demonstration flight at the Le Bourget airfield outside Paris on Monday — with French President Francois Hollande looking on. A French Rafale fighter jet also performed morning acrobatics.

Airbus says three of the four engines on another A400M failed before it crashed near Seville, Spain, last month, killing four people.

Five countries already have A400Ms, a costly and ambitious joint European project. Britain, Germany, Malaysia and Turkey grounded the plane after the crash, while France is only using it for urgent operations.


9:50 a.m. (0750 GMT; 3:50 a.m. EDT)

Boeing has announced a tentative order from Indonesia’s Garuda airline for up to 60 jets at the opening of the Paris Air Show.

The planemaker said Monday that Garuda signed a letter of intent to buy up to 30 its popular single-aisle 737 MAX and 30 of Boeing’s 787-9 jets. The 60 jets, if confirmed, would cost 10.8 billion dollars at list prices, though airlines usually negotiate discounts.

Rival Airbus announced Monday that it has made a deal with Saudi Arabian Airlines to be the first airline to fly the Airbus A330-300 regional jet, redesigned for domestic and regional routes.

Thousands of people streamed into the world’s oldest air show Monday from throughout the world’s $700 billion aerospace and defence industry.