Thursday, February 05, 2009

As Business Jet Orders Slump, Bombardier Announces Layoffs

Bombardier's aerospace division is cutting more than 1,300 jobs as faces a 10 percent drop in business jet orders.

This occurs during an abrupt decline in new orders for business jets, and a corresponding rise in the number of customers backing out of existing orders. No one saw this coming late last year, when the business jet industry was still posting record sales and profits.

More later today on why this is occurring, and on the way the business jet industry missed an opportunity to make a reasonable case for its products, rather than blaming the press for the troubles it's having in an bad economic environment coupled with a fierce public backlash against corporate high-riding arrogance -- best exemplified by the three Detroit CEOs who famously rode their corporate jets to Washington last November nto beg for taxpayer bailouts.

Bombardier, based in Montreal, makes both commercial regional jets and a line of business jets. The workforce cuts will take place at the company's facilities in Montreal, Wichita, Kan., and Belfast over a five-month period, beginning this month.

The company said it expected to deliver about 10 percent fewer business aircraft this fiscal year. In fiscal 2009 (which ended Jan. 31), Bombardier delivered 239 business jets, compared with 232 in the previous year. The company blamed the new forecast drop on a greater-than-usual number of deferrals and cancellations of existing orders.

The industry in general has not yet assessed the additional impact that will come from the evaporation of anticipated new orders this year.


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