On February 11, 2021, Canada’s business aircraft manufacturer Bombardier announced it would end Learjet production and lay off 1,600 staff, as part of a plan to “drive profitability” and cut costs.
The aircraft manufacturer will cease production of Learjet business jet in the fourth quarter of 2021. The move will allow the manufacturer to switch its focus to more profitable Challenger and Global business aircraft development.
“Given the increasingly challenging market dynamics, we have made this difficult decision to end Learjet production,” Bombardier CEO Eric Martel wrote in an annual financial report, noting that more than 3,000 Learjets have been delivered since the brand first entered the market in 1963.
Despite Learjet production shutdown, the company “will continue to fully support the Learjet fleet well into the future, and to this end, launched the Learjet RACER remanufacturing program for Learjet 40 and Learjet 45 aircraft.”
In the 2020 annual financial release, Bombardier said it would slash its overall workforce by approximately 1,600 positions, including reductions associated with Learjet shutdown and progress on the Global 7500 learning curve.
Most of the projected job losses for Bombardier will occur in Canada and in Wichita, the United States. Job cuts would bring the company’s global workforce to about 13,000 by the end of 2021.
Bombardier CEO said that layoffs were always difficult “but these reductions are absolutely necessary for us to rebuild our company while we continue to navigate through the pandemic.”
As the COVID-19 crisis continues to take toll on Bombardier, such steps would move the company towards a cost-saving objective of $400 million annually by 2023, including $100 million in 2021, according to Bombardier financial report.