Bombardier will halt production of the $13.7 million Learjet 60XR midsize business jet later this year because of lack of demand, but will continue to deliver its inventory of the eight-passenger twinjet until the end of 2013, it says.
According to the General Aviation Manufacturers Association, Bombardier delivered three Learjet 60XRs in the first quarter of 2012, matching the number it delivered in the first quarter of 2011. In total, the airframer delivered 19 Learjet 60XRs in 2011.
Delivery numbers for the smaller Learjet 40XR and Learjet 45XR were similarly dismal - two aircraft in the first quarter of 2012 and 24 in total for 2011 - but Bombardier is revitalising those models with more powerful Honeywell TF731 engines, new Garmin avionics, redesigned winglets and cabins in the form of the Learjet 70 and Learjet 75.
Priced at $13.5 million, the Learjet 75, the larger of the two aircraft, is most similar to the Learjet 60XR in price and performance. The Learjet 75 will be available in the first half of 2013, says Bombardier. Both aircraft can carry up to nine passengers in the cabin, but the Learjet 75 will have less range - 2,040nm (3,780km) versus 2,405nm for the Learjet 60XR.
"We're monitoring the market conditions," says Bombardier when asked if production of the Learjet 60XR could resume. "If the demand improves in that segment, we may restart production. But right now our analysis indicates that demand will remain low in the near future."
Read all about the Learjet 60XR at flightglobal.com/learjet60XR