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Bombardier cutting 2,500 jobs as business jet demand falls due to pandemic

Majority of layoffs coming in Canada


June 5, 2020
By The Canadian Press

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MONTREAL — Bombardier Aviation will lay off 2,500 workers, mostly in Canada, because of the pandemic’s impact on projected deliveries of its business jets, the company said Friday.

“When the pandemic first arose, Bombardier Aviation responded quickly, suspending manufacturing operations to support local government efforts to slow the spread of the virus and to protect the health and safety of employees, partners and customers,” it said.

“Now with business jet deliveries, industry-wide, forecasted to be down approximately 30 per cent year-over-year due to the pandemic, Bombardier must adjust its operations and workforce to ensure that it emerges from the current crisis on solid footing.”

The company said the majority of the cuts will impact its manufacturing operations in Canada and will take place progressively throughout the year.

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Bombardier said its worldwide customer service operations have continued to operate largely uninterrupted throughout the pandemic.

Future is business jets

The company, once the world’s third largest aircraft manufacturer with a range of jet and turboprop aircraft, has pinned its future on business jets.

Bombardier recently sold its commercial jet businesses, which supplied aircraft to airlines, and agreed to sell its rail business to French rail giant Alstom SA, subject to approvals.

On Monday, it closed the sale of its CRJ regional jet program to Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Ltd. for US$550 million. It completed the sale of its remaining stake in the A220 commercial jetliner program to Airbus in February.

It had expected double-digit revenue growth this year with 160 unit sales in 2020 amid a $16.3-billion backlog and had begun to ramp up production when the pandemic hit in March.

Bombardier said it expects to record a special charge of $40 million in 2020 as a result of the job cuts. Further information will be provided when it delivers its second-quarter financial results on Aug. 6