For years the Canadian company Bombardier has endeavored to design and build a state-of-the art, single-aisle passenger aircraft. With its C Series, it looks as though it has succeeded, which is good news for the flying public and airlines. Boeing, however, is not happy.
After Delta Airlines placed an order for 75 of Bombardier’s new C Series, Boeing charged Bombardier with unloading the planes in the U.S. at below-cost prices. In fact, it has now asked the U.S. International Trade Commission to lay anti-dumping and countervailing duties against the C Series.
To prevail, Boeing must show it has been injured by unfair trade practices. But the real risk of injury in this case is not to Boeing, which earned record profits per share in the second quarter and has increased its yearly earnings forecast, but to consumers and to future innovation.
Bombardier’s new C Series represents a real step-change for passengers. Its seats are two inches wider than Boeing’s single-aisle aircraft. Addressing another frequent passenger complaint, the C Series’ overhead bins were designed so each passenger can stow a roller-suitcase. In an age when baggage fees draw the ire of the flying public, that is a real plus. The bins are also lower so passengers can more easily access them. Even the windows are larger, much larger, and configured to maximize the chance to take in the view.
On top of that, C Series is powered by a revolutionary new engine from the historic American engine manufacturer Pratt & Whitney. These new engines reduce the C Series’ noise footprint by 50 to 75 percent, greatly enhancing the flying experience for passengers. It also means more options for carriers who are dealing with various cities’ noise restrictions. On top of that, the innovative materials used in the C Series, along with the new engine, ensures better fuel burn and fewer emissions. For these and other reasons a pilot review in Aviation Week earlier this year proclaimed the C Series an “icon in its…