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First quarter commercial jet orders plunge at Bombardier

Higher deliveries of commercial aircraft and a favourable mix in its business jet sales bumped first quarter revenue up 10% to $2.2 billion for Bombardier's aerospace division. For the three months to end-April, earnings before interest and taxes rose 6% to $141 million.

The Montreal-headquartered airframer delivered 23 regional jets and turboprops, up from 16 during the same period a year ago. Business jet deliveries were down two units at 37; no amphibious aircraft were delivered in the period, against one a year ago.

Commercial aircraft orders plunged to just 5 - from 55 a year ago. However, recovery was evident in the business jet market, with 77 net orders swamping the 6 recorded a year ago. Fifty of those business jet orders came from NetJets, which signed for 30 Global 5000 and Global 6000 aircraft and 20 Global 7000 and Global 8000 aircraft, with options for an additional 70 Global family aircraft.

That order - worth $6.7 billion at list prices if all options are exercised - is the largest-ever business jet deal for Bombardier.

For all aircraft types, the firm order backlog rose nearly 10% during the quarter, to $21.1 billion, mainly due to an increase in large business aircraft orders, partially offset by a lower order backlog for regional aircraft.

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