Bombardier to keep CRJ, Q400 production line rates steady

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Bombardier plans to keep its CRJ and Q400 production line rates steady for the foreseeable future.

The Canadian airframer in May warned that it was taking a hard look at its CRJ regional jet production rate, as orders remained depressed and customers sought delivery delays. But during an earnings conference call yesterday, Bombardier Aerospace president and chief operating officer Guy Hachey said the firm feels it "can keep the line rates the same for the Q400 and CRJs".

He points out that Bombardier lately has been securing new, albeit small orders for Q400s and CRJs on a regular basis, and that it intends to announce a few more deals in the near-term that are similarly small in nature.

At 31 July, the end of Bombardier's fiscal second quarter, the manufacturer's backlog for the Q400 stood at 16 months worth of production "so we held pretty even" compared to the 16 months of backlog recorded at the beginning of the fiscal year, says Hachey.

Backlog for CRJ series aircraft stood at 32 at the end of July versus 22 when the fiscal year began. CRJ deliveries have declined year-over-year, however, and this has a bearing on the backlog, notes Hachey.

He expects CRJ deliveries to pick up during the second half of the fiscal year as the new 100-seat CRJ1000 enters service.