Although delivery rates of Bombardier Learjet business aircraft are low, the company doesn't expect to cut production at its Wichita plant, a Bombardier official said Wednesday.
Bombardier has seven months of backlog for its Learjet products, up from six months earlier this year.
Bombardier delivered three Wichita-built Learjets in the quarter ended July 31, compared with 13 during the same time a year ago.
In all, the company delivered 27 business aircraft in the quarter, compared with 51 a year ago.
"We didn't deliver hardly any Learjets in the second quarter," Bombardier Aerospace president Guy Hachey said during a conference call Wednesday after the company reported second-quarter results. "We expect that to change in the second half."
During the quarter, the Wichita plant also had an increase in the number of "white tails" it built — planes without assigned customers.
But Hachey said the company expects to be able to sell the Learjets it's building.
In all, Bombardier took 26 orders for business aircraft in the quarter and had 12 cancellations. That compares with 27 orders and 80 cancellations a year ago. It also took 15 orders for commercial aircraft in the quarter.
Bombardier's aerospace sector, which includes business and commercial aircraft, recorded 29 net orders in the quarter compared with 38 negative net orders in the same time a year ago.
An uncertain economic environment continued to be reflected in the aerospace's division results, the company said.
"However, the group is starting to see signs of recovery as shown by the significant reduction in business aircraft order cancellations," Bombardier president and CEO Pierre Beaudoin said in a statement.
Key indicators, such as the number of used aircraft on the market, also continue to stabilize, the company said.
Long term, the market fundamentals for new business and commercial aircraft are strong, Bombardier said.
Despite that, the company expects to deliver 15 percent fewer business jets and 20 percent fewer commercial aircraft next year, compared with this year.
Bombardier's aerospace division recorded revenue of $2.0 billion in the second quarter, down from $2.4 billion a year ago. Overall revenue was $4.1 billion, down from $4.9 billion a year ago.
Net income for the quarter totaled $148 million, down from $202 million.