Bombardier’s business jet production is to return to levels not seen since 2001, as the manufacturer increases its reliance on the corporate sector to meet delivery targets.

Bombardier deliveries by division W445
© Flight International

The forecast, delivered last week by Bombardier Aerospace president and chief operating officer Pierre Beaudoin, calls for the same level of deliveries as the fiscal year ended on 31 January – 337 aircraft – despite an expected dip in regional jet production from 121 to about 80 units.

“[In FY06] regional aircraft represented 45% of our deliveries, and [in FY07] this will go down to 40%. The difference will come from the growth from business jets,” said Beaudoin.

Bombardier delivered 149 regional aircraft in FY06, while the business sector accounted for 186 deliveries. The airframer last year also delivered two amphibious aircraft.

With turboprop production forecast to be about 50 units in FY07, Bombardier must expect corporate jet production to top 205 aircraft to attain the 337 delivery target. This exceeds FY01 levels, when business jet deliveries peaked at an unprecedented 203 aircraft.

This focus on higher margin corporate aircraft is also profitable for Bombardier. In FY06 revenue from business aircraft rose 51.6% year-on-year to $3.1 billion, making this sector the highest grossing in Bombardier’s aerospace division. Regional aircraft sales dropped 19.7% from the $3.6 billion posted in FY05 to $2.9 billion.

Business aircraft profitability was also cited as a major factor in the parent company’s $249 million FY06 net profit, a $334 million turnaround on the $85 million net loss recorded in the previous 12 months.


Source: Flight International