Bombardier remains confident it will reach its goal of delivering 175 to 180 aircraft in 2019, though the Montreal-based airframer must significantly boost aircraft handoffs to achieve that goal.
The company had delivered 117 aircraft in the first nine months of the year, including 90 business jets and 27 commercial aircraft, equating to a rate of 39 aircraft quarterly.
But those deliveries included 20 Q400 turboprops – a programme Bombardier sold to De Havilland Aircraft of Canada in June.
The company will need to deliver 58 aircraft in the fourth quarter to reach hit the 175 mark before year end.
Speaking during the company's third-quarter earnings call on 31 October, Bombardier chief executive Alain Bellemare said the airframer is "on plan" to hit the 175-180 aircraft-delivery goal.
Those deliveries will likely include at least 15 of the company's largest business jet, the Global 7500, he says, adding that Bombardier has a number of 7500s approaching completion.
"We now have over 20 Global 7500s in our completion centre," says Bellemare. "Our assembly operation in Toronto is also full, with over 20 aircraft at different stages of completion."
Bombardier's aviation unit generated $1.6 billion in third quarter revenue, up 4% year-on-year, though the unit's profit before interest and taxes slipped 27% to $96 million.
In the third quarter, the company delivered 37 aircraft, including 31 business jets and six CRJ regional jets. It delivered 36 aircraft during the same period of 2018.
Bombardier's business aircraft order backlog was worth $15.3 billion at the end of the third quarter, up about 7% year-on-year. Its commercial aircraft backlog stood at $2.6 billion at the end of September.
The company is progressing with the sale of the CRJ programme to Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, a deal Bombardier expects will close in the first half of 2020.
Bombardier holds outstanding orders for 28 CRJs and expects CRJ production will cease in the second half of next year. The airframer has said it is not taking new CRJ orders.
Also on 31 October, Bombardier announced it plans to sell significant aerospace assets to Wichita-based aircraft fuselage and major component manufacturer Spirit AeroSystems.
Under the deal, Spirit will purchase Bombardier's aerostructures and aftermarket assets in Belfast, where the company makes A220 wings, and facilities in Casablanca and Dallas. Spirit will pay $500 million for the assets, and Bombardier expects the deal will close in the first half of 2020.
That sale reflects Bombardier ongoing shift away from commercial aviation and toward increased focus on business aircraft.
"We achieved another key milestone to building a lean, efficient and strong Bombardier business aircraft enterprise," Bellemare says.