Bombardier Inc. tumbled to its lowest level in almost 22 years as the company said it's re-evaluating the timeline for its largest, longest-range business jets. Management is "conducting a full review of all aspects" of the Global 7000 and 8000 program, "including its schedule," Anna Cristofaro, a spokeswoman for the company, said in an e-mail Thursday.
The Global family's biggest models have been bright spots for Bombardier amid sales struggles for the CSeries airliner and the suspension of the Learjet 85. Bombardier is building the first prototype of the 7000, which will be able to fly nonstop from London to Singapore and retail for $72.8-million. As recently as last year, the Montreal-based company promised a 2016 debut for the 7000, with the 8000 following in 2017.
Bombardier's widely traded Class B shares dropped 8.3 per cent to $2.00 at the close in Toronto, their lowest level since October, 1993. That pushed Bombardier's slump for the year to almost 52 per cent.
Chief executive officer Alain Bellemare, who took over in February, declined to comment on "specific dates" for the Global 7000 and 8000 during a May 7 conference call with analysts. The first Global 7000 prototype "is taking shape in final assembly," Bombardier's Cristofaro said Thursday.
Eric Martel, who ran the unit until resigning in late May, said in a May 13 interview that Bombardier wasn't prepared to commit to a date for the jets' entry into service because it was still working to ensure they perform as advertised. Bellemare later hired David Coleal to replace Martel.
Corporate jets have traditionally been Bombardier's most profitable division. Earnings before financing expense, financing income and taxes at the unit will probably amount to 7 per cent of revenue this year, the company said in February.
Bombardier announced plans in May to cut about 1,750 jobs at the business aircraft unit due to a slowdown in production of the Global 5000 and 6000 models.
Aviation International News first reported the Global 7000 and 8000 program review late Wednesday.