Bombardier has launched an internal review to examine the future of the Learjet 60 business jet programme. The initiative comes as the Canadian manufacturer confirms it has received significant interest in the revamped standard production version of the mid-size aircraft, the Learjet 60 Special Edition (SE).

The aircraft was launched in October and Bombardier has delivered three aircraft to date, says Brad Nolen, manager of product planning for the Learjet family. "The upswing has been marked," Nolen says. "We already have a healthy backlog for the SE and this upgrade will boost sales of the Learjet 60. This will be reflected in increased deliveries of the aircraft next year."

Bombardier has incorporated as standard on the 60SE $1 million worth of extras that were previously sold as options. These include a luxury interior, enhanced avionics, entertainment and weather detection systems. Bombardier is also offering until the end of the month a comprehensive maintenance, training and warranty package.

"The $12.5 million aircraft has more standard equipment than any other aircraft in the mid-size sector," Nolen says, adding that offering a standardised aircraft will also reduce production costs.

The Learjet 60 entered service in 1993 as a replacement for the Model 55, introduced 12 years earlier as the first Learjet type with a stand up cabin. "We have delivered 277 Learjet 60s to date, which has exactly matched our market expectations," Nolen says.

Bombardier is continuing to develop and evolve the Learjet 60 programme to retain a competitive edge in the "crowded" mid-size sector. "But a new product la




Source: Flight International