Bombardier's Hachey: Company 'absolutely committed' to Learjet segment

Bombardier is “absolutely committed” to its Learjet segment of the market, Bombardier Aerospace president and COO Guy Hachey said in an interview before the Paris Air Show opened.

“There should be no concern,” Hachey said.

During the downturn, its Global business jets held up the best, although prices were down, followed by its Challenger segment, which “took a beating.”  But like other manufacturers of small and medium-size business jets, that end of the market was impacted the most.

The Learjet market has stabilized but it hasn’t yet picked up. Production has held at a “reasonable level, but the pie is smaller,” Hachey said.

“Long term, we’re not concerned with that segment,” he said. “We feel really good that Learjet will be a very solid brand for us in the medium and long-term.”

That’s evidenced by its investment in the Learjet 85 under development. The program is going well and on track for first delivery in 2013, he said.

The first expansion to take on the plane has been completed in Wichita, he said. The current building wasn’t high enough or wide enough to accommodate it.

Construction will begin this fall on a new delivery center and paint shop, he said.