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Business jet sales struggle in 2016

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SUMMARY: Learjet, the Bombardier business jet brand it bought (a rare Bombardier deal with NO government aid or subsidies) in 1990 for $US 75 million and took on its $US 38 million debt, is soon to be sold as Bombardier struggles with light mid-size jet sales, having only delivered 6 Learjets in the 1st 6 months of 2016. The failure of the Learjet 85 and its subsequent $2.5 billion write down, sealed the fate of Learjet, which has no chance of future sales growth and is losing value year by year with an “old” product line that struggles against the Textron XLS+ and Embraer Legacy 450 in a very “soft” demand environment, where big price discounting is the weapon of choice, especially by Embraer. After 54 years, the sun will set soon on the Learjet brand that Bill Lear started in 1962 using the Swiss P-16 fighter plane as his “inspiration” for the fast Learjet 23, and his LearStar 600 mid-size business jet concept was sold to Canadair in the late 1970’s, which ultimately became the CL-600 Challenger, the grand daddy of the current line of all CRJ regional jets (+1,836 delivered) and the current and 4th version of the 1970’s Challenger (+1,040 delivered), the CL-650 . The buyer may be Textron Aviation, Bombardier’s competitor with its new Latitude, Longitude and eventually Hemisphere lines, as the current 2,300+ Learjets out there (many for sale) still will need continued technical and maintenance support, now worth around $+300 million a year, and could possibly fetch a maximum $375 million price tag, cash that Bombardier desperately needs to reduce its $6.8 billion debt obligations between 2018-2023, so after selling its flight training to CAE in 2015, and its CL-215/415 water bomber rights to Viking Air in June of this year (no price has been published), and now it looks like the Learjet line is next. BUT it will not be the end of Bombardier’s business aviation problems, a tired and old product line (Learjets, CL-650, Global G5000/6000’s) face new products from competitors (Embraer Legacy 500, Falcon 8X, Textron Longitude and Hemisphere, Gulfstream G500/600) all smelling blood at troubled Bombardier.

CHECK OUT August 16, 2016 article on General Aviation delivery summary for 1st half of 2016.   The Learjet product line is about to end anytime soon, as Bombardier looks to sell the brand, which it bought in 1990 for $US 75 million and took on $US 38 million debt, in fact the ONLY aerospace … Continue reading