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Bombardier: short-term pain will give way to long-term gain

 - June 15, 2009, 9:17 AM

Bombardier Aerospace has issued a new market forecast for regional and business aircraft which paints a picture of temporary gloom giving way to long-term strength, with overall 20-year order and delivery (O&D) expectations not much lower than the Canadian manufacturer was predicting a year ago.

Its commercial aircraft market forecast for 2009-2028 predicts 12,400 deliveries in the 20- to 149-seat market, worth around $589 billion. In the business aircraft market it sees 11,500 deliveries from 2009 to 2018 (with revenues of some $256 billion for the industry).

A key feature of current trends highlighted by Bombardier was the “shift in demand to the upper end of regional and lower end of the mainline market (see table). It also believes that 60 percent, or 6,900 units, of the current 20- to 149-seat market are expected to be retired over the period of the forecast. Turboprops will account for 38 percent of commercial deliveries–with a forecast total of 2,300.

Philippe Crevier, vice president of marketing, pointed out that backlogs at a similar stage in the last downturn, starting in around 2000, were around a third of the present levels, which gave Bombardier confidence that the industry could emerge in good shape.

Gary Scott, president for commercial aircraft, was bullish about the threat to its new C Series from other international programs. “There are new entries in Russia, Japan, China, [but] we believe we have the optimal solution,” he said, while admitting that the environment remains incredibly competitive and that airlines are finding it difficult to finance aircraft. “We are working closely with the export agencies–EDC in Canada. It’s a big challenge for our customers.”