Bombardier believes it has taken the lead in business jet deliveries, with 30% of the market by value so far this year.

The company had delivered 127 aircraft by the end of September, up by almost 30% over the same period last year. It was boosted by shipments of the new Learjet 45 and Global Express. Aircraft deliveries are expected to increase again next year.

Cessna expects to deliver 210-220 Citations this year and more than 250 next, making it the market leader in terms of business jets shipped. While Bombardier delivered the 2,000th Learjet at the show, Cessna will hand over the 3,000th Citation later this year.

Bombardier is increasing production of the mid-size Learjet 60 from two to three a month next year, says business aircraft division president Robert Gillespie. The super mid-size Continental, meanwhile, is on schedule for delivery in 2002, and has 35 firm orders.

Global Express orders stand at 105, but Bombardier plans a number of performance enhancements: increasing maximum take-off weight to 43,500kg (96,000lb) by year-end, reducing take-off distance at the higher weight and increasing range by 280-370km (150-200nm) over the next two years. These changes will help customers with heavier interiors, the company says.

Gulfstream says it has no plans or customer requests to enhance the performance of its competing GV, for which it has 150 orders, but it plans to introduce an enhanced vision low-visibility landing system next year.

Cessna, meanwhile, has a backlog of over 1,000 aircraft. This includes around 80 entry-level Citation CJ1s, deliveries of which begin early next year; 120 stretched CJ2s, with deliveries beginning later next year; 260 "super light" Excels, with production being increased to seven a month; and almost 100 Sovereigns, for delivery beginning at the end of 2003.

Source: Flight International