Bombardier expects its aircraft delivery rate will remain largely flat for much of this decade but anticipates significant revenue gains from its defence and aftermarket businesses.

Executives said on 1 May that those gains will help the company continue to grow and to meet its target of generating $9 billion of revenue annually in 2025, up from $8 billion in 2023.

“Aircraft deliveries are going to level off in the coming years, after a number of tears of very strong growth,” Bombardier chief financial officer Bart Demosky says during an investor event at the company’s new manufacturing site at Toronto Pearson International airport.

Bombardier delivered 138 aircraft in 2023 and anticipates it will ship 150-155 aircraft this year and about 150 aircraft in 2025. Its longer term forecast assumes that same rate will hold true as late as 2030.

Bombardier Global production site Toronto Pearson

Source: Jon Hemmerdinger/FlightGlobal

Bombardier will keep delivery rates broadly flat in order to conserve its backlog

Chief executive Eric Martel says Bombardier will deliberately keep deliveries flat as a means of “preserving” its backlog, adding that the company could tweak rates higher if circumstances warrant. Keeping the order backlog padded will also help maintain longer-term financial health.

Martel clarifies that neither supply chain nor production constraints are behind the decision, which comes after aircraft manufacturers worked furiously in recent years to boost production amid supply chain troubles and labour shortages. Other manufacturers are still climbing that hill.

Montreal-based Bombardier ended March holding an order backlog valued at $14.9 billion, up 5% in three months and up 39% since 2020, when it embarked on a broad business transformation. That transformation, now complete, saw Bombardier sell its commercial aviation business and its rail division to become solely a business jet manufacturer.

“Our transformation has led to a remarkable improvement in our financial position,” says Martel. “We have a very strong multi-year backlog to execute our plan.”

Bombardier expects to compensate for flat business jet deliveries by significantly ramping up sales of used aircraft, those modified for the military market as surveillance platforms, and aftermarket services.

In 2023, sales of new business jets accounted for 69% of Bombardier’s revenue, with the remaining 31% coming from its aftermarket division and its sales of defence and pre-owned aircraft.

Bombardier aims for those three buckets – aftermarket, defence and pre-owned – to account for a combined 35% of its revenue in 2025, and up to 50% by 2030.