Bombardier announced a pause of the Learjet 85 business aircraft program on 15 January, blaming the needed stop on a “weak demand for the Learjet 85 aircraft” that “follows a downward revision of Bombardier’s business aircraft market forecast”.
The Canadian manufacturer seas a “continued weakness” since the economic downturn. The news is no fun to about 1,000 employees at the Bombardier locations in Querétaro, Mexico, and Wichita, United States. They will be laid off. The move also has millions of financial consequences.
“Bombardier will focus on the CSeries and Global 7000/8000, for which we see tremendous market potential,” said Pierre Beaudoin, President and Chief Executive Officer of Bombardier Inc. The company’s location at Wichita will continue to perform final assembly of the Learjet 70 and Learjet 75, will stay the Bombardier Flight Test Center as well as the Service Center. Querétaro site contributes to the Global 7000/8000 with aft fuselage manufacturing.
Bombardier Aerospace however exceeded its delivery targets with a total of approximately 290 aircraft (204 business, 84 commercial and two amphibious aircraft), compared with a projected 200 business and 80 commercial aircraft deliveries. This represents a 22% increase compared with the deliveries of 238 aircraft for the previous year (180 business, 55 commercial and three amphibious aircraft).