Airbus Wants to Rename the Bombardier C Series Program 'A200'
Now that Airbus is in the final stages of owning a majority stake of the Bombardier C Series program, it's planning to cap off the purchase with a rebranding. People familiar with the plan told Bloomberg News that Airbus is considering renaming the program, in which it's invested more than $6 billion, "A200." If the plan to rebrand the C Series does go through, the program's jets will become just more Airbus aircraft.
According to people familiar with the plan who asked not to be identified, the designations of A210 and A230 would potentially be applied to the CS100 and CS300 variants, respectively. The new name would scrap the C Series' 14-year-old branding.
So, why is Airbus looking to rebrand an already launched program? The people familiar with what's going on said that changing the C Series program into an A200 family, slotting it just below the A320 family, would help reassure potential buyers about Airbus' long-term future. Once the final purchase of controlling stakes closes, we could see the rebranding take place — possibly before the Farnborough Air Show in July.
Prior to Airbus' announcement of acquiring part of the C Series program, it had not been a commercial success, as it had struggled to attract orders. The ongoing situation caused backlash from Boeing, which cried that the program had received illegal aid, urging the US to impose duties. However, the tariffs were later blocked by a US trade panel.
As of December 31, 2017, the C Series has 348 firm orders in place, excluding a deal that was made in November, ending an 18-month sales drought. Since the Airbus accord was announced, Bombardier CEO Alain Bellemare said that customer interest in the C Series has increased exponentially.