Bombardier to slash CRJ production from January

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Bombardier will slash output of its CRJ regional jets from January 2012 in the face of an orders slump that has seen its backlog diminish to just over a year's worth of production.

The move follows the Canadian airframer's decision to cut its Q400 turboprop production, effective towards the end of this year.

Despite the slowdown in CRJ production, the Canadian airframer does not anticipate an impact to its workforce as it is implementing "mitigation actions", which include employee transfers to other current and in-development aircraft programmes at the firm.

"Although several sales campaigns for our CRJ aircraft are making progress and the long-term prospects for the CRJ programme remain positive, the reduced pace of orders has made a review of our production plans necessary," said Bombardier Aerospace president and chief operating officer Guy Hachey.

"For these reasons and after careful consideration, a CRJ aircraft production decrease is warranted in the short term. However, thanks to the support and collaboration of our union representatives, we do not anticipate that the rate reduction will have an impact on our workforce."

Bombardier's previously stated guidance to deliver about 90 commercial aircraft "remains relatively the same", added the manufacturer.

Last month, Bombardier said it was working aggressively to avoid slashing production rates of its CRJs, but conceded "it will be a much more difficult year for the regional segment" overall if a number of sales campaigns for the aircraft failed to bear fruit.

Economic uncertainty and market volatility are being blamed by the airframer for the dearth of orders in the regional segment.