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Friday, April 4, 2008

BBD Small T-Props Phased Out, MRJ Comment

Regionals continue to increase the size of their aircraft with the CRJ 900 being the preferred choice, according to Bombardier which briefed reporters and investors at its FY08 results. In addition, it reported that deliveries for business jets will increase 10 percent this year in order to meet the growing demand, although regional deliveries will be flat. The regional backlog alone goes out two years. Bombardier also said it continues to study a 90-seat Q400, now known as the Q400X, adding that customers are very excited to have a longer Q400.
As a result of the growing aircraft size, the company is also phasing out production of its Q200 and Q300 series aircraft in favor of its Q400 turboprop which is growing in popularity. The backlog of the smaller aircraft is only 17 and production will cease in May 2009 with the final delivery of the aircraft types. Most of the employees will move over to the Q400 production line
Bombardier would not weigh in on the newly launched MRJ except to say that the aircraft has modern engines making the performance good but, given the fact it is a very heavy aircraft for regional operations, operating costs will not be as good as one would expect given the engine. Officials indicated that they are continuing to study the new aircraft both with respect to it performance as well as Mitsubishi’s strategy in the market. They noted that the aircraft is being developed in Japan that does not have a large local market. While the MRJ is intended to be competitive with the CSeries, officials said that Mitsubishi seems to be focusing on the regional market whereas the CSeries is designed for mainline airlines. They also pointed out that Mitsubishi has a lot to do before they established themselves in the regional market.
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