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Industry
Bombardier's downfall
Bombardier's downfall
© Bombardier

| Alexandre Rocchi

Bombardier's downfall

Bombardier continues to try to pay off its debts, which currently amount to $9 billion (about €8.16 billion). The Canadian company plans to leave the Airbus A220 program... but also to sell its business aircraft division to Textron. This would generate a deep change in the "bizjets" landscape.

As a result of expenses linked to the exorbitant costs of developing the CSeries program, Bombardier is currently in negotiations with Textron regarding the potential sale of its business aircraft division, according to the Wall Street Journal of February 4.

The talks follow the sale of a large part of the CSeries program to Airbus (and it is very likely that Bombardier will sell its remaining percentage), to that of the Q400 to Viking Air, while Mitsubishi Heavy Industries bought the CRJ program. Besides, the Canadian company also sold two more businesses in the last few months. Its aerostructures business went to Spirit AeroSystems whereas its EWIS assets were sold to Latécoère.

Such a sale would allow Cessna — which is a subsidiary of Textron — to complete its range by propelling the aircraft manufacturer into the large cabin business aircraft segment, while Bombardier could thus pay off part of its debts approximately worth €8.16 billion. Cessna could thus become the purchaser of the Global family and have access to large cabin and long range business jets, which until now the Wichita-based aircraft manufacturer did not benefit from, despite its attempt with Citation Hemisphere (12 passengers and 4,500 NM ( or 8,334 km)), whose engine-related problems forced Cessna to postpone the program in 2019.

The sale of Bombardier's business aircraft division would be particularly interesting for Cessna since the Canadian manufacturer’s Global family is in direct competition with the Gulfstream’s business aircraft. Not to mention Dassault Aviation’s Falcon family.

As for the Learjet family, who hardly benefited from significant investments and/or improvements in recent years, it would be in direct competition with the Citation. Thus making its future uncertain.

Thus, what was once one of the aviation giants plans to refocus its activities on the railroad, but this sale will not be without impact on Bombardier's production sites, whether they are in Montreal or Toronto.

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