Bombardier announced here yesterday the long-anticipated launch of its C-Series family of single-aisle airliners. The company also revealed that final assembly will occur in Mirabel, Quebec, laying to rest any speculation that production would move south of the U.S.-Canada border, specifically to Kansas City. Bombardier president and CEO Pierre Beaudoin called it “an historic day for Bombardier.”
“A strong market for strong products” is driving growth at Bombardier Aerospace, according to president and chief executive officer Pierre Beaudoin. The Canadian group is increasing its 27,000-strong workforce even as it faces the challenge of achieving earnings growth targets subject to currency exchange fluctuations that have led it to outsource more work to lower-cost partners.
The latest option for owners of Challenger 604 business jets is the enhanced version of the Safe Flight AutoPower system, which was installed and certified under a supplemental type certificate by Bombardier Business Aviation Services in Tucson, Ariz. The system will be offered as an option on new production aircraft or a retrofit item on older 604s.
Walking away from a wage settlement endorsed by their own union leadership, 8,000 rank and file members of Local 712 of the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace workers had shut down the assembly lines for Bombardier Regional Jets and, as of press time, effectively stymied production of both Challenger business jets and RJs by stopping fabrication of critical subassemblies for those aircraft.
Bombardier Aerospace’s business aircraft market forecast, released last week, predicts that 1,320 business jets, ranging from light twinjets to corporate airliners, will be delivered annually over the next 10 years. According to the Canadian aircraft manufacturer, this is more than a twofold increase from the industry average of about 620 business jets delivered annually between 1998 and 2007.
The maiden flight of Bombardier’s super-midsize Continental on August 14 marked the debut of a reconfigured version of Rockwell Collins’ Pro Line 21 integrated avionics system with large-format active-matrix displays. The Continental’s flight-deck layout includes four 12- by 10-in. liquid crystal flight displays, consolidated control panels, TCAS II and terrain awareness warning system as standard equipment.
The FAA awarded Bombardier’s 86-seat CRJ900 regional jet its U.S. type certificate on November 14, ostensibly paving the way for first delivery to Phoenix-based Mesa Air Group in April. Launch airline Mesa plans to fly the airplanes as America West Express under the auspices of Freedom Airlines, a new non-union subsidiary that launched CRJ700 services from Phoenix to Los Angeles and Long Beach, Calif., on October 26.
Bombardier has named Guy Hachey president and COO of its aerospace division, following Pierre Beaudoin’s promotion to president and COO of Bombardier Inc. Hachey brings more than 30 years of experience in the industrial manufacturing sector to the Montreal-based airframer, first with GM and most recently with Delphi.
Bombardier today announced substantial changes to its aerospace group leadership team, most notably naming auto industry veteran Guy Hachey Bombardier Aerospace’s new president and COO, effective May 12. A transition period will follow until June 4, when Pierre Beaudoin, Bombardier Aerospace’s current president and COO, will take over the position of president and CEO of parent company Bombardier, as previously announced last fall.
Another truss fell from Fairchild Dornier’s tenuous financial footing last month, as potential suitor Bombardier Aerospace declared that it no longer harbored any interest in investing in the foundering 728 and 928 programs. The timing of the decision came as a surprise, given Bombardier president and CEO Robert Brown’s prior indications that the company’s commercial analysis would last until at least late this month.