After a two-year period that saw Bombardier lay off thousands of aerospace workers, divest itself of aviation and non-aviation assets, close a key service center (in Indianapolis) and consolidate business aircraft manufacturing, the company’s board of directors last month acted on the recommendation of its human resource and compensation committee to fire CEO Paul Tellier.
Reporting last month on its results for the fiscal year that ended January 31, Bombardier saw a strong year-over-year recovery in its business jet segment. The company said business jet orders were up 69 percent, while deliveries climbed 44 percent. Its share of the business jet market in which it competes, based on deliveries, reached 27 percent versus 20 percent last year, according to the company.
A veteran jet salesman who claimed in a lawsuit filed in August 2003 that he was fired from Bombardier Aerospace in 2002 because he refused to drink and smoke with customers got retribution. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission ordered Bombardier Aerospace to pay $159,000 to Michael Kolman.
The upgrade parade that has been a hallmark of recent NBAA Conventions continued to march along pretty much unabated at last month’s show in Orlando, Fla., where no fewer than seven new models made triumphant debut appearances, but only one entirely new airplane bowed in–and it was a very light jet (VLJ) from a start-up company few people had ever heard of before the show.
Following on the heels of several other OEMs, Bombardier Aerospace will build a component manufacturing facility in Mexico (in this case in Querétaro) that will begin operations in May, initially producing wiring harnesses but eventually having the capability for “final aircraft assembly.” Later next year the facility is scheduled to start manufacturing “major structural aircraft components” currently being built by Asian suppliers.
Last month Bombardier inaugurated its 238,000-sq-ft distribution center near Chicago O’Hare International Airport. The “superwarehouse,” located less than five miles from the airport, is managed in partnership with Caterpillar Logistics Services.
The Beaudoin family deepened its leadership of Montreal-based Bombardier last month following the departure of Peter Edwards as president of Bombardier Business Aircraft. The change at the top also follows several recent and major changes at the division’s operating levels while Edwards was in charge.
Bombardier once again has postponed a decision on its proposed C Series after failing to land an order for the 110- to 130-seat airliner before the company’s most recent self-imposed deadline of late last month. Apparently convinced during last month’s program review that a customer could sign soon, however, Bombardier has extended the offering for at least another month.
While many European companies still view business jets as “corporate barges” rather than genuine business tools, statistics show they are more likely to warm to corporate/executive shuttles. Perhaps this is because of a shuttle’s more utilitarian purpose as a transporter of a company’s employees rather than just the company’s executives.
Bombardier signed a series of LOIs last month with the governments of Canada, Quebec and the UK for major manufacturing and assembly sites for its proposed C Series of airliners.