Bombardier says “tough decisive action last year to reduce production rates” has saved it from the worst of the collapse in new orders and residual values of large-cabin jets.

“We were the first [manufacturer] to make these reductions,” says David Coleal, president of Bombardier Business Aircraft. “We have seen a decrease in the pre-owned inventory in the Global category – that was a result of us reducing capacity in time. Others have seen sharp declines [in residual values].”

Bombardier made 31 deliveries and took 40 net orders in the first quarter. Although shipments were down from 45 in the same period last year, Coleal says the manufacturer’s book to bill – the ratio of orders for every delivery – has returned from less than one to 1.3.

The Canadian manufacturer says it remains “focused on first flight” of its Global 7000 this year. The first three flight test aircraft are in production and the GE Passport engine has been installed on the first, FTV 1. It will fly from Montreal to Wichita to begin the type’s test programme, which is expected to last until certification in the second half of 2018. “It’s all hands on deck,” says Coleal.

Bombardier describes the 7,400nm-range Global 7000 as the first “four-zone” large business jet. It has a list price of $72 million and is some 4m longer than its current flagship, the Global 6000.

The company says it will “define the timeline” of the shorter but 8,000nm-range Global 8000, once its stablemate as flown.

Although Bombardier is not disclosing sales numbers for the two types, it says over 90% of orders have been for the Global 7000.

Source: Flight Daily News