Bombardier To Briefly Suspend Most Aircraft Production

 - March 24, 2020, 11:10 AM
Bombardier will temporarily suspend Challenger and Global aircraft production through April 26. (Photo: Bombardier)

This story is part of AIN's continuing coverage of the impact of the coronavirus on aviation.

Bombardier will suspend work—including aircraft production—at most of its operations in Canada in support of recent mandates from the governments of Quebec and Ontario to slow the spread of the Covid-19 pandemic, the Montreal-based company announced today. The suspension begins at 11:59 p.m. today and lasts through April 26, the Canadian airframer said.

It will affect Bombardier’s aircraft and rail production in both provinces. Employees affected by the temporary shutdown will be furloughed for the period, as will corporate office employees whose functions are deemed by Bombardier as less critical in the short term. At Bombardier's Wichita operations, a spokeswoman told AIN that a "small number" of employees will also be affected by the furloughs. "But we cannot comment further until we have personally notified each affected employee," she said. Its service centers in Wichita—which accounts for most of its employees there—and globally will remain operational throughout the furlough period, she added.

Also, Bombardier’s CEO and senior leadership team will forgo their pay during the period, and the chairman and board members have agreed to refrain from receiving board compensation for the remainder of the year. Additionally, the company is suspending its 2020 financial outlook so it can assess the impact of the production suspension and other actions the company has taken in response to Covid-19.

“Since the coronavirus outbreak, the company has been focused on keeping our employees safe, serving our customers to the best of our ability during these difficult times, and taking the necessary actions to protect our business for the long term,” said Bombardier chairman Pierre Beaudoin. “In addition to the actions announced today, Bombardier has cut all discretionary spending, is continuing the work on closing the previously announced transactions, and is pursuing additional measures to enhance liquidity.”