As part of a major consolidation project that it says will save $25 million a year, Bombardier has embarked on an 18-month project to consolidate all Learjet production, completions and deliveries in Wichita, and all such Challenger work in Montreal.
This year’s NBAA Convention was about more than multimillion-dollar deals, flashy exhibits and rows of new business jets gleaming under the Georgia sun. To gauge the true importance of the event, one has to look beyond the scope of sales announced at the show–more than a billion dollars, unofficially–and at the origins of those deals.
Bombardier Aerospace this morning launched the clean-sheet Learjet NXT to fill the gap between its midsize $13.3 million Learjet 60XR and $21 million super-midsize Challenger 300.
Bombardier Aerospace consolidated its U.S. sales efforts for new and used aircraft with its Flexjet fractional-ownership program at a new headquarters building in Richardson, Texas, near Dallas. The new sales office is near Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport and Love Field, where Bombardier aircraft pilot and maintenance training is conducted and where there is a factory service center.
On the heels of posting a net loss of $418.6 million in the last fiscal year, due primarily to the stalled market for business jets and regional airliners, Montreal, Quebec, Canada-based Bombardier announced a major recapitalization program last month.
While Bombardier’s Wichita Learjet facility remains idle until next month during a planned, but unprecedented, four-month plant shutdown, company managers and machinists union representatives are “talking” about how to reduce production costs. According to a Bombardier spokesman, the Wichita facility ranks dead last in cost efficiency out of the company’s six aerospace manufacturing plants.
Chicago-based Jet Support Services Inc. has signed an agreement with Bombardier Aerospace in which the airframe manufacturer will provide the enrollment fee for JSSI’s top-of-the-line, tip-to-tail, customized hourly cost maintenance program applied to used “narrowbody” aircraft (primarily Learjets) taken in trade and sold over the next year.
Bombardier Aerospace promoted Michael McQuay to president of its Flexjet fractional operation headquartered in Dallas. McQuay, who joined Bombardier in 2001 as v-p and general manager of Flexjet North America, will be responsible for both Flexjet and the Skyjet North America online charter booking operation.
Bombardier Aerospace has received key approvals from the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) and the FAA to provide complete training, service and maintenance for the Bombardier Challenger 300. Both the EASA and the FAA have awarded full Part 145 approval to Lufthansa Bombardier Aviation Services (LBAS), located at Berlin-Schoenefeld Airport.
Bombardier Aerospace is negotiating to acquire a 234,000-sq-ft hangar at Tucson International Airport to expand its aircraft interior completions capacity. Bombardier’s Tucson site already handles completions for the Montreal-based company’s Global Express, Challenger 604 and Learjet family.