Bombardier has almost wrapped up certification flight testing on its ultra-long-range Global 7500 and expects to secure approval for the twinjet "shortly", ahead a first delivery later this year.

Nearly 20 examples of the GE Aviation Passport-powered business jet are in production, said Alain Bellemare, Bombardier chief executive, on a 2 August earnings call.

"Right now, we’re in the final phase of certification. We are almost done with flight testing," says Bellemare. "So, I mean certification is expected soon.

"We are getting ready for full production. So, the team is hard at work, ramping up."

Service entry will follow before the year-end, he adds.

In addition, Bombardier has seen a positive reaction to its latest additions – the Global 5500 and 6500, which it unveiled at the EBACE show in May.

The pair are re-engined versions of the Global 5000 and 6000 – gaining new Rolls-Royce Pearl 15 powerplants – and also feature new wings, avionics and cabin systems.

Bellemare says the jets have gained "significant customer traction" from the market. However, he indicates that, so far, few operators have swapped existing orders for the new models.

"In terms of all this phasing from the 5000 and 6000 to the 5500 and 6500, I think it's too early to tell.

"So, we will see how we build the backlog on the new family, the 55[00] and 65[00]. And at that time, I mean, we'll be in a better position to understand what the production mix will be," says Bellemare.

Aside from the Global and Challenger families, Bombardier also owns the Learjet brand. However, orders for the light-jet line have been sluggish in recent years.

Bombardier will produce around a dozen of the aircraft this year, says Bellemare, describing Learjet as a "great franchise" that offers a significant opportunity for aftermarket business from the 2,000-strong installed base.

However, he concedes that as the in-production Learjet 70 and 75 are more expensive than their direct rivals, potential customers might be "looking at other options".

He says "no decision" has been made over the future of the brand, with Bombardier content to build aircraft at the lower rate.

In the first half, Bombardier delivered 65 business aircraft, in line with the same period last year and its full-year target of 135 shipments.