Bombardier says it still plans to deliver 15-20 Global 7500s this year, despite having so far handed over only three of the GE Aviation Passport-powered business jets.
Three more examples of the ultra-long-range twin will be shipped in the third quarter, said Bombardier chief executive Alain Bellemare, speaking on a 1 August half-year results call, with the remainder to follow in the final three months of 2019.
“We have 16 aircraft right now that are in our completion centre here in Montreal, and it’s really progressing well. Actually completion is progressing little bit better than planned, so our level of confidence is good,” he says.
Bellemare says that as a brand-new aircraft – having entered service in late 2018 – there was always going to be some uncertainty around the Global 7500's delivery profile, but adds that overall “we’re making very good, solid progress”.
Bellemare says that 2019 deliveries are “backend loaded”, to allow a smooth service entry for the new jet, ensure its performance and minimise “the risk for potential retrofit”.
Bellemare praises the jet’s “tremendous capabilities”, noting that it continues to set records “in terms of range, in terms of speed”.
As production continues to ramp up, deliveries should rise to 35-40 Global 7500s in 2020, he adds.
Overall business jet deliveries stood at 35 in the quarter, a one-unit increase over the same period a year earlier, and included two light jets, 17 midsize jets and 16 large jets.
“Our [business aviation] financial performance was right on plan for the second quarter and is tracking to our full-year guidance,” Bellemare says.
Certification and delivery of the re-engined Global 5500 and 6500 – both powered by new Rolls-Royce Pearl 15 engines – are still “on track” for later this year.
Bellemare points out that Bombardier is continuing to “enhance” its product portfolio, pointing to the recent launch of the Learjet 75 Liberty, a lower-price, six-passenger version of the superlight jet.