Skip to main content

The cockpit in a demonstration cabin of a Bombardier C Series.

Fred Lum/The Globe and Mail

It's very close to showtime for Bombardier Inc.'s new 100-seat-plus C Series commercial jet.

The plane on which Bombardier has so much riding is set for its first test flight by the end of June.

It will be a landmark event for the company, barring any glitches that might require a second delay after last year's six-month holdup.

Story continues below advertisement

Bombardier president and chief executive officer Pierre Beaudoin is betting big on the success of the C Series program and he's counting on a "mission accomplished" first flight to help enhance the plane's profile and boost less-than-impressive sales to date.

Expect the C Series to be front-and-centre as Bombardier unveils its first-quarter results on Thursday. Investors and analysts will be looking for reassurance that the much-anticipated aircraft is at last ready for its closeup.

Bombardier has become an "event/catalyst driven name" and "all eyes are turned towards the C Series first flight and to whether the company can get this plane off the ground before the end of June," CIBC World Markets analyst Kevin Chiang said in a recent research update.

"The success of [its] first flight will be used as a barometer to gauge the ability for Bombardier to execute on its C Series program."

Chris Murray of PI Financial Corp. said in a note that he's encouraged by a recent company update on the program, as well as a visit to the C Series cabin demonstrator. He has a $5.25 price target on the stock.

"We expect first flight remains a powerful catalyst for new orders, although [we] still expect it likely that some issues will arise during flight tests," he said.

He believes that regional- and business-jet maker Bombardier has developed a better platform for the 100- to 150-seat market. Bombardier is up against the formidable Boeing Co.-Airbus SAS near-duopoly, which hogs the space. Mr. Murray's 12-month target is also $5.25.

Story continues below advertisement

National Bank Financial analyst Cameron Doerksen agrees that an update on Thursday is key. Confirmation that progress is being made on the C Series should be a major driver for the stock in the short term, he said in a research note, adding that "risk remains on the program.

"However, we see a higher stock price should first flight go as planned and as new orders for the plane are announced."

He is maintaining his "outperform" rating and target of $4.75.

Report an error Licensing Options
About the Author
Quebec Business Correspondent

Bertrand has been covering Quebec business and finance since 2000. Before joining The Globe and Mail in 2000, he was the Toronto-based national business correspondent for Southam News. He has a B.A. from McGill University and a Bachelor of Applied Arts from Ryerson. More


The Globe invites you to share your views. Please stay on topic and be respectful to everyone. For more information on our commenting policies and how our community-based moderation works, please read our Community Guidelines and our Terms and Conditions.

We’ve made some technical updates to our commenting software. If you are experiencing any issues posting comments, simply log out and log back in.

Discussion loading… ✨

Combined Shape Created with Sketch.

Combined Shape Created with Sketch.

Thank you!

You are now subscribed to the newsletter at

You can unsubscribe from this newsletter or Globe promotions at any time by clicking the link at the bottom of the newsletter, or by emailing us at