Bombardier C Series Could Be Renamed Airbus A200

The Bombardier C Series is a new narrowbody aircraft that is proving very popular with passengers and airlines. The plane is comfortable and has great economics and range, so over the coming years we should see more and more of these in service.

Last October a big change was announced to the future of the C Series. Specifically, it was announced that Bombardier would sell a majority stake in the C Series program to Airbus. Under this arrangement, Airbus will own 50.01% of the C Series project, Bombardier will own 31% of the project, and Investissement Québec will own 19% of the project.

While the two aren’t necessarily related, this was announced around the same time as a big trade dispute between Bombardier and Boeing, which Boeing ended up losing.

As part of Airbus’ involvement in the project, the two companies hope for significant savings by leveraging Airbus’ supply chain expertise, and also plan to open a new C Series final assembly line in the US. Beyond that, it looks like Airbus’ involvement in the C Series program may lead to another big change.

Bloomberg reports that Airbus intends to rebrand the C Series. According to people familiar with the matter, “A200” is one of the names under consideration for the C Series.

Currently there’s the CS100 and CS300, so those planes would be designated as the A210 and A230, which makes sense. Currently Airbus uses “A3XX” for all of their planes, as they’ve produced the A300, A310, A320, A330, A340, A350, and A380. It makes sense that they’d go for a lower number given that the plane is smaller (not that the numbers have always been indicative of the size of the plane).

In many ways this is a logical move. Airbus has a lot more brand recognition than Bombardier, and this would allow the plane to be viewed as more of an extension of Airbus’ existing line of aircraft. The story also suggests that this would reassure potential buyers about the long term future of the plane. However, I feel like the plane’s future is pretty secure, given how popular it is.

We’ll find out for sure whether this rebranding will happen in the coming months. The deal is expected to formally close in July, which is when any changes would likely be revealed.

What do you make of the concept of the Bombardier C Series being branded as the Airbus A200?

Comments

  1. I’d favor the A200-100 and A200-300.

    No more of this non-sense where the first version is the -800 or -900.

    Having a different model number, like the A318, A319, A320, A321 is not the greatest. Making it the A210 and A230 is not so good because you’ll use up the 200’s and because it may be hard to tell a A210 and A230 apart.

    I like the Canadair name but that is history.

  2. Dave – Canada – the Canadair name is terrible. In the US when people here Canadair they think:

    *Cramped
    *Windows designed for toddlers to look out
    *barely climbs through the flight levels
    *Air conditioning packs that do not cool the cabin on the ground…at all

    — the list goes on! In general Airbus has a better name. Affiliated with wider seats and more comfort.

  3. if they really wanna sell it as Airbus and want people to forget any negative perception of Bombardier, then fully brand it as A360 or what not.

    using the A2xx scheme makes it a very conscious reminder that it’s someone else’s product, and gives out the perception of “we inherited this mess to save Quebec” …. but the flip side of the coin is that they’re ensuring this product, even when completely under Airbus’s wings, won’t ever jeopardize bread-n-butter A320 that actually pays the bills.

  4. What airline buying exec isn’t (1) going to know that there is an Airbus/Bomardier partnership on these planes in the first place and (2) be offered them by Airbus’ selling teams anyway if the C series planes are the right size for the customer. Utterly Pointless

  5. Makes sense. Don’t understand Dave. A318 – 19 20 21 communicate exactly the relative attributes of the lineup.

    Since A300 and A310 evoke larger airplanes, why not A220.

  6. First they came for the Arrow, then they came for Avro, now they come for the C Series. How long will Bombardier last with its flagship brand project stolen and rebranded? It’s a Canadian plane, and it should have a Canadian name.

  7. Never understood why keep Bombardier brand. It’s essentially a “B” word that can get you in a huge trouble if you utter it in an airport.

    bombardier
    [noun]
    A member of a bomber crew in the US Air Force responsible for sighting and releasing bombs.

    Passenger airplanes’ names need to be more mellow 🙂

  8. @ryan thank you. Every time I hear CanadaAir I start sweating and my back start hurting. The number 200 does the same to me. Crj200.

  9. ^^ ha ha, I think positive. When on a CRJ200, I pretend that I am on a Concorde, which had 2+2 seating and no lie flats.

    @steve, when I am far away and cannot see an A318-A321 clearly, I don’t know what to call it. That’s when I wish it were the A320-100, -200, -300 (A321), -400 (A319), -500 (A318).

    What ever it is, hope it’s not the A210 and A230 but rather the A200-100 and -300

  10. There’s only so much lipstick you can put on a pig. Wonder how the Bus sales staff are going to embrace the A2??.

  11. Henry LAX – I guarantee that virtually everyone who hears Airbus A210 and thinks “that sounds like a Bombardier plane” will also see Airbus A360 and think “that sounds like a Bombardier plane”…

    It makes absolutely no sense to number your smallest plane between two much larger models. A2XX is much more logical.

  12. Anything that Boeing hates must be great!!! And I grew up in Seattle and was born on the Fourth of July.

    Fat pigs feeding at the trough. Could be worse you say… could be Lockheed.

  13. Being a Canadian, I don’t like the idea of the plane being rebranded as an Airbus. This is a project Bombardier has been working on for years, before any involvement with Airbus, and I think they deserve credit where credit is due for having produced a competitive, if not class-leading product. Like AGB said above, what will Bombardier have left if its flagship plane is “stolen”?

  14. ^^ Canadair stole Learjet’s plane to make the CRJ. The fact is that Canada has high costs and is an aviation failure. Look at Canadair. Look at Avro Canada. Look at the Avro Arrow. It’s not because Canadians are bad people but because costs are high in Canada and the world market is tough. …and don’t blame America.

  15. One of the world’s best turboprops is the Q400 (shh – it’s a Bombardier). The original designs were DeHaviland which was purchased by Bombardier. The Q400 is a massive redesign that has proven to be very successful.

    The CRJ series aircraft do everything they were designed to do. Some airlines have made flying in them uncomfortable but don’t blame that on the aircraft. Check out EK’s terrible economy cabins for additional examples of how to screw things up royally.

    The C Series was designed in Canada and should retain its proud name and heritage. It is a wonderful plane – so much better than any Airbus design so please don’t let Airbus take the credit even though Trump forced the sale!

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