Bombardier: Bizjet Demand Strong but Shifting

 - January 31, 2008, 11:02 AM

Bombardier Aerospace president Pierre Beaudoin on Tuesday told attendees at a meeting of the Board of Trade of Metropolitan Montreal that he believes the robust market for business jets will continue despite economic fears in the U.S. Beaudoin–who will take the CEO reins of parent company Bombardier from his father, Laurent, on June 4–said the Montreal-based aircraft manufacturer’s backlog for business jets is strong, with many models sold out for the next three years or more. However, demand is becoming much less U.S.-centric. “The market’s been growing by 20 percent annually since 2004 and it’s changing rapidly,” Beaudoin said. “This year, only 22 percent of our orders have come from the U.S., down from 70 percent in 2000 and 50 percent in 2006. Europe, Russia and Asia are buying more.” In the nine months that ended on October 31, Bombardier delivered 156 business jets, 13 more than the same period in the previous year. The company expects to deliver about 230 business jets in the fiscal year that ends today. Beaudoin said Bombardier already has letters of intent for nearly 100 copies of the new Learjet 85.