Bombardier identifies Bahrains Gulf Air as mystery CSeries customer

MONTREAL — Bombardier has identified Bahrain’s Gulf Air as one of the customers for its CSeries, a new generation of commercial jet that will compete with some of the smaller planes offered by Airbus and Boeing.The Middle East carrier ordered 10 CSeries CS100 aircraft in June 2011, but declined to be identified until Tuesday. It also has options for six additional planes.Gulf Air currently operates a fleet of 26 Airbus planes but said Tuesday in a joint news release with the Montreal-based company that it’s working with Bombardier Aerospace to ensure the CSeries meets the airline’s goals.The money-losing national carrier is focusing on high-yield routes that connect Bahrain businesses with regional markets.It has has laid off more than 1,000 employees, or 15% of its staff and cut four routes since January.The Montreal-based manufacturer has received commitments for 388 CSeries, including 145 firm orders.Bombardier says it has tripled its commercial aircraft presence in the Middle East and Africa over the past four years.There are more than 200 Q-Series turboprops, CRJ regional jets and CSeries in service or on order in the area.Bombardier has delivered more than 2,600 Q-Series and CRJ planes around the world.On the Toronto Stock Exchange, Bombardier’s shares gained five cents at $4.80 in Tuesday midday trading. read more