Bombardier plans to lower production of the Global 5000 and 6000 this year due to softer demand for the ultra-long-range jets, company president and CEO Alain Bellemare said this morning during a first-quarter conference call. The “adjustment,” which he said won’t affect delivery rates this year, is necessary because of the sagging market for business jets in Russia, China and other emerging countries where buyers tend to favor ultra-long-range jets.
Meanwhile, the in-development Global 7000 and 8000, which Bellemare said have a “very strong order book,” appear to be delayed, supporting speculation that the CSeries and Learjet 85 snags have had a knock-on effect. Asked if the two models were on track for entry into service in 2016 and 2017, he answered, “We are not commenting on Global 7000 and 8000 EIS at this time.” The rear, center and forward fuselages and the wing of the first flight-test Global 7000 have been joined, Bellemare noted.
During the quarter, Bombardier Business Aircraft delivered 45 jets (nine Learjet 70/75s, 14 Challenger 300/350s, five Challenger 605s and 17 Global 5000/6000s), two more than in the same period a year ago. However, it took in just 19 net orders in the quarter, versus 46 a year ago, resulting in a book-to-bill ratio of only 0.4:1. Business jet backlog was $23.4 billion as of March 31, down from $24 billion at the end of 2014.