Facing Delivery Downturn, Bombardier Cuts Staffing

 - June 5, 2020, 10:28 AM
Bombardier is reducing its workforce by 2,500 positions, or more than 10 percent, as a result of anticipated delivery declines this year.

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

With business jet deliveries anticipated to be down approximately 30 percent industry-wide this year as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic, Bombardier Aviation announced this morning that it will permanently cut its workforce by more than 10 percent.

The Montreal-based airframer explained that due to the “current market conditions reflecting the extraordinary industry interruptions and challenges caused by Covid-19,” it will be forced to reduce its staffing by approximately 2,500 employees.

In a letter to the company this morning, Bombardier Aviation president David Coleal stated, “These reductions are absolutely the least preferred outcome. However, we have reached the end of our ability to maintain our pre-Covid employment levels.”

The reductions will be spread among its facilities, with 1,500 in Quebec, 400 in Ontario, and 500 in Queretaro, Mexico, according to a company spokesperson. It will also encompass 40 U.S.-based staffers, plus an additional 40 workers outside North America. The OEM’s aftermarket organization will remain untouched and will continue to grow its worldwide footprint with service center and other support expansions, the spokesperson told AIN.

“This situation is frustrating and disappointing," Coleal said, "especially given we began 2020 poised to grow our business with a continued focus on our talented team—all of this backed by a tremendous portfolio of aircraft and services.”

He pointed to some bright spots, including the manufacturer's strong order book and diverse product portfolio, the success of the Global 7500, and the fundamental goal of business aviation: to provide safe, efficient point-to-point travel, which he believes can become more relevant than ever in the post-Covid-19 world.

Coleal noted that the company hopes to return to pre-Covid demand levels when the crisis abates. “Should the market change, we will evaluate measures to welcome back our valued team members…but our immediate focus will be supporting our team members who unfortunately are leaving Bombardier.”

Bombardier is taking a $40 million special charge in the second quarter as a result of the layoff.