Manufacturer upbeat as new international markets for business aviation emerge

Despite a market for thousands of very light jets in the next decade, Bombardier thinks they will do little to boost overall manufacturer revenues and rules out a foray of its own into the sector.

However, the Canadian company remains upbeat about industry prospects, predicting 9,950 deliveries of business jets (excluding VLJs) in its latest 10-year forecast. It says output of around 995 a year compares with an industry average of 572 for the decade to 2006, and that sales are unlikely to level off until 2012, two years later than it previously forecast. Even then, the low point of the cycle will represent more deliveries than the previous peak, in 2001.

The emergence of new international markets for business aviation is one of the main reasons for Bombardier's optimism, coupled with likely steady US economic growth of around 3% annually.

Despite VLJ deliveries of as many as 800 a year from 2010, the new breed of aircraft will add only around 7% value to a market worth in 2007 dollar values between $20 billion and $23 billion annually for existing, larger categories, says Bombardier's vice-president strategy and business development Michael McAdoo.

Speaking at the company's pre-Paris air show media summit in Belfast last week, Bombardier Aerospace president Pierre Beaudoin said a move into the VLJ market, either through acquisition or developing a Learjet variant, was "not something we are interested in".

Source: Flight International