Wednesday, September 01, 2010

Why is CSeries being compared to 737 and A320?

When Bombardier was developing the CSeries, it had a choice:
  1. Go against 737/A320
  2. Stay away from 737/A320
Now we know what the CSeries is, and Bombardier appears to be in a weird situation - its aircraft doesn't actually overlap with 737/A320 - these aircraft differ considerably in terms of range and revenue seat-capacity - but people all over the world (especially the guys at GLG News) are busy criticizing the CSeries as being inferior to 737/A320. Why are these people even comparing CSeries to 737/A320?

One thing can be said with a good amount of certainty - that with CSeries, Bombardier did not intend to directly compete with 737/A320, because an aircraft with lower range and seat-capacity simply cannot compete with 737/A320, even if it provides a double-digit fuel-burn improvement. Any aircraft that wants to directly compete with 737/A320 must - in general - match or exceed the established players' range and seat-capacity (else it would be in a different segment, invalidating the comparison).

In summary, it appears that Bombardier is in the worst position it can be in. It developed a relatively less capable aircraft to, apparently, not compete directly with 737/A320, and people are busy complaining that the CSeries has less range and seat-capacity than 737/A320. What a pity!


  1. Update (7-Sep-10): If Bombardier actually foresaw competition from 737/A320 to CSeries (which, currently, is weird), then it should've developed CSeries as a full-blown competitor to 737/A320, instead of a "neither here, neither there" aircraft.

    A full-blown 737/A320 competitor from Bombardier would've fared much better in the CSeries vs. 737/A320 evaluations that potential CSeries customers are making (again, such a comparison is a little weird).

  2. Update 2 (7-Sep-10): In retrospect, Bombardier may have been in a better position today, had it developed the CSeries as a full-blown alternative to 737/A320. At least airlines would be making a "fair" comparison then...

  3. Since Canada participated in illegal sanctions against Russia, it only makes sense that Russian firms cancel their CSeries orders and help to sink this ambitious Canadian program.