Bombardier to cease Learjet production in 2021

written by Hannah Dowling | February 12, 2021
A file image of Air Affairs Learjets. (Air Affairs)
A file image of Air Affairs Learjets. (Air Affairs)

Canadian planemaker Bombardier has announced that after 60 years in service, it will end the production of its once go-to private jet Learjet in 2021.

Sales of the nine-seater Learjet have fallen over recent years, as customers opt for bigger, roomier private jets.

As such, Bombardier has announced it will end Learjet production in order to focus on its other business jet offerings, the Global and Challenger series.

Bombardier has held the Learjet company since 1990, however the first Learjet 23 took to the skies for the first time almost six decades ago, in 1963.

Around 3,000 Learjet aircraft have been produced since.

Bombardier has said it will continue to support and maintain the current fleet of existing Learjets, and would offer upgrades to both systems and interior fit-outs at the Learjet factory in Wichita, Kansas, even after the production line closes

“Passengers all over the world love to fly this exceptional aircraft and count on its unmatched performance and reliability. However, given the increasingly challenging market dynamics, we have made this difficult decision to end Learjet production,” Bombardier chief executive Eric Martel said.

The decision will see 1,600 jobs cut from the company, and save Bombardier $400 million per year over the next two years.

The layoffs include 800 workers in Canada, mostly from Quebec, and 250 in Wichita, where Learjet is based.

After the cost-cutting measures, Bombardier is expecting to restore profitability sometime between 2021 and 2023.

In 2020, Bombardier saw a 20 per cent fall in its business jet deliveries, with just 114 delivered by year-end.

Despite this, 2020 revenues from its corporate jet activities rose by 3 per cent, driven largely by deliveries of its largest, longest-range Global 7500 jet in the later-half of the year.

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