Mature CRJs to be long-term cash cows: Bombardier

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Bombardier will change its sales pitch for the CRJ900 and CRJ1000 to keep them viable against a field of new competitors, but not make major new investments to refresh its line-up of large regional jets, says a top executive.

The two aircraft spanning the 75-100-seat market segment were introduced in the last decade as direct competitors to the Embraer E175, E190 and E195.

As the EJet E2 and the Mitsubishi Regional Jet (MRJ) arrive in service within four years, Bombardier plans to re-orient the CRJ900 and CRJ1000 as a niche player catering to low-cost markets, says Guy Hachey, Bombardier Aerospace president, speaking at the company’s invenstor day.

“At the end of the day it’s going to be a value offering in the marketplace,” Hachey says.

Both aircraft he says already have a “very low” operating cost, and they will benefit from a comparatively low operating cost as the E-Jet E2 and MRJ enter the market, he says.

The goal is rely on the mature production programmes as “cash cows”, Hachey says.

“We will invest less in them and position them differently in the marketplace,” he says. “In some other places we may have them more as cash cows. I don’t see us doing major investments in the CRJ. I don’t believe we have to. I believe there’s legs left in that product line.”

Bombardier is focused on five new aircraft development projects with the CSeries CS100 and CS300, Learjet 85 and Global 7000 and 8000.

Meanwhile, Embraer has launched the E2 programme to introduce a new wing and Pratt & Whitney PurePower PW1700/1900G engine on the three largest versions of the E-Jet. The MRJ90 introduces a new airframe in the 76-seat class powered by the PW1200G engine.

But Bombardier decided not to make similar big investments in the CRJ, such as a re-engining or an all-new airframe.