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Bombardier Launches New Innovative 50-Seater CRJ550 Aircraft

Dal Kikin
February 20, 2019

Bombardier Commercial Aircraft is pleased to officially launch the new CRJ550 aircraft, the first triple-class 50-seat aircraft in the world designed to meet the expectations of today’s passengers. The CRJ550 is a new CRJ Series aircraft model, with a new type certificate based on the CRJ700. United Airlines is the launch customer of this new model.

“The new CRJ550 model is the only solution in North America that can replace the existing fleet of ageing 50-seaters, a market of over 700 aircraft, said Fred Cromer, President, Bombardier Commercial Aircraft. It offers improved passenger experience with ample on-board storage for carry-on bags and more passenger living space. This is one more example of how we are focusing on creating value for our customers and a very important endorsement from United in regards to the CRJ platform.”

The CRJ550 will feature a self-serve beverage and snack station and more overall legroom per seat than any other 50-seat aircraft flown by any U.S. carrier, in addition to all the benefits for which the CRJ Series aircraft are known.

With the CRJ550, the CRJ Series is the only family of regional aircraft that can offer 3-class cabin across all-market segments, while meeting the current operational requirements. One of the key benefits for the US operators will be to leverage the cockpit commonality from the CRJ200 to the CRJ900. The CRJ550 will also delight operators by delivering a 99.5 % proven dispatch reliability, the elimination of gate check bags, and providing connectivity.

The first user of the CRJ550 should be United Airlines. Her planes will be adapted to carry 10 passengers in the first class, 20 in economy class with extra legroom and 20 in economy class. This is a kind of reciprocal step in competition - a few days ago, American Airlines received its first Airbus A321neo in 196-seat configuration, and Delta Air Lines is preparing to launch the new A220-100 with a new on-board entertainment system.

United Airlines will receive 50 pieces of CRJ550. They will be converted into CRJ700, currently operated by regional airlines flying United, 25 of which belong to the GoJet Airlines fleet. The first aircraft should be delivered in summer, and by the end of the year the carrier should have 25 CRJ550 units. The rest will be delivered until the summer of 2020.

The CRJ550 was initially operated in Chicago, O’Hare and Newark and could eventually replace the 50-seat Bombardier CRJ200. The company assumes that they will be operated for 10 years.

This is a significant step of confidence for Bombardier, especially given the fact that recently there has been much talk about the fact that the manufacturer is moving away from the aerospace industry.