Q Series cushions blow for Bombardier

 - March 2, 2009, 6:17 AM

Bombardier Aerospace plans to raise production of its commercial aircraft by about 10 percent this year, the manufacturer announced last month. The increase comes as the company continues to enjoy relatively strong demand for its Q400 turboprop, while the backlog for its CRJ line of regional jets dwindles. During its last fiscal year, which ended January 31, Bombardier delivered 110 commercial airplanes, while net order intake totaled 114 with the addition of 47 CRJs and 67 Q Series turboprops to its sales ledger.

A 10-percent increase in production output would amount to 121 airplanes on the commercial side for this fiscal year. That improvement won’t quite offset a planned 10-percent cut in production for Bombardier’s business jets, however, as that sector accounted for more than double the output of its commercial airplanes last year, when the company delivered 239 business jets.

The increase in Q Series production also won’t prove sufficient to save the jobs of some 1,010 temporary workers and 350 permanent employees Bombardier expects to lay off due largely to the planned cut in Learjet and Challenger production.