[Aviation Today February 3, 2014] Bombardier has opened February by securing a combined $819 million in recent orders for Global business jets and Q400 NextGen regional aircraft.
Photo, courtesy of Bombardier.
Middle Eastern aircraft lessor Palma placed a firm $282 million order for four Q400 NextGen aircraft, which it will in turn lease to Ethiopian Airlines. The Canadian airframe manufacturer also announced a separate sale of three Global 6000, two Global 7000 and three Global 8000 jets to an "undisclosed customer” in a $537 million order.
“As momentum for the Q400 NextGen aircraft continues to build in the Middle East, Africa and elsewhere, we look forward to adding many more operators to the family of 50," said Mike Arcamone, regarding the latest deal with Palma.
Arcamone's comments are similar to those made by Guy Hachey, Bombardier's chief operating officer, after the company announced orders of both business jets and commercial aircraft dropped in 2013. Hachey called the global economy "persistently sluggish" and experiencing a recovery that is "taking longer than originally anticipated." The COO said the company is focusing on securing orders from emerging markets.
Palma is the first Middle Eastern lessor to acquire the Q400 NextGen, and also the world's first lessor to acquire the aircraft's dual-class configuration.
Along with the drop in orders of both business and commercial aircraft last year, Bombardier will have to compete with the recent influx of new light jets such as Embraer's Legacy 450, which made its first flight in late December and Cessna's M2 and Citation Sovereign Plus, both of which were certified in December. Cessna is also on track with the new Citation X, which is expected to gain certification early this year.
Textron CEO Scott Donnelly told investors during a January conference call that he is expecting longer term overall jet growth to develop with a "rebound in the business jet and the overall General Aviation market."
Bombardier is well positioned to compete with the new lineup of business jets from its rivals too, as its Learjet 75 entered service in the fourth quarter of 2013, and the Learjet 85 is scheduled to make its first deliveries later this year. Further down the line are the larger end of its business jet line with the Global 7000 and Global 8000 scheduled for entry into service in 2016 and 2017.
“We are confident that the Global aircraft product line’s strong momentum will continue in 2014,” said Éric Martel, president, Bombardier Business Aircraft, Bombardier Aerospace.