Bombardier CRJ production rate under review again

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Bombardier is taking a hard look at its CRJ regional jet production rate, as orders remain depressed and customers seek delivery delays.

Confirming that Bombardier "has not filled out the entire skyline just yet", Bombardier Aerospace chief operating officer Guy Hachey says there are "certain issues we need to resolve by the end of the year that have to do with the production rate" and the company will need to make a decision in the next month or so.

He acknowledges that there could be a further reduction in personnel, but says "we're going to try to avoid this".

During the firm's 2010 fiscal year, which ended 31 January, the Canadian airframer reduced production rates for all business jets and regional jets in order to counter its falling order backlog.

Bombardier took 101 gross orders for business aircraft, but cancellations on 186 aircraft led to a negative net order tally of 85.

In the commercial aircraft sector, Bombardier secured 104 gross orders, but was hit with 16 cancellations for a net total of 88 orders, including 50 orders for CSeries narrowbodies.

Bombardier also recorded eight orders for amphibious aircraft during the year.

In total, Bombardier obtained 11 net positive aircraft orders for the year, after accounting for 213 gross orders and 202 cancellations.

The airframer has been managing its skyline by collaborating with customers to advance or delay a number of aircraft deliveries.

Given the economic environment, however, and currently-planned production rates, Bombardier expects to deliver approximately 15% and 20% fewer business aircraft and commercial aircraft, respectively, in the 2011 fiscal year compared to the year prior.