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Bombardier Will End Learjet Production in 2021

Feb. 11, 2021
The business aircraft brand is being phased out in a restructuring effort to reduce operating costs and increase cash flow and focus shifts to the Challenger and Global series.

Bombardier Inc. will cease production of its Learjet private aircraft series at the end of 2021 as the manufacturer concentrates its business jet program on the Challenger and Global series. The move is part of a continuing effort to reduce operating costs and improve cash flow, and follows a staged exit from the commercial aircraft sector that recast Bombardier as a “pure-play business jet company,” according to the description of president and CEO Éric Martel,

Learjet was established in 1963 and has delivered over 3,000 private aircraft over almost 60 years. Bombardier acquired Learjet from bankruptcy in 1990. “Passengers all over the world love to fly this exceptional aircraft and count on its unmatched performance and reliability,” Martel offered. “However, given the increasingly challenging market dynamics, we have made this difficult decision to end Learjet production.”

Bombardier’s Challenger series of twin turbofan-engine aircraft supports the smaller business jet market, while the larger-cabin Global series serves the longer-range business aviation market.

The demise of Learjet was announced with Bombardier’s 2020 annual report, in which it explained that its Business Aircraft activities had revenues $5.6 billion last year, a 3% year-over-year improvement it attributed to the start of deliveries for the new Global 7500 aircraft – though offset by the impact of COVID-19 on other programs and services revenues.

Expecting to achieve $400 million annual savings by 2023 (approximately $100 million in 2021); Bombardier will begin a “restructuring” that involves consolidating its Global aircraft completion work in Montréal; reviewing options for underutilized hangar and industrial space elsewhere in Québec facilities; and reducing overall employment by approximately 1,600.

Bombardier will continue to support the Learjet fleet and has launched a remanufacturing program for Learjet 40 and Learjet 45 aircraft, including interior and exterior components, new avionics, high-speed connectivity, engine enhancements, and aircraft maintenance. That remanufacturing program will be offered through Bombardier’s service center in Wichita, Kan., even after the end of new aircraft production there.

Wichita also will continue to serve as Bombardier’s primary flight-test center.

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