Bombardier to cut 2,500 jobs as business jet deliveries slump

Bombardier Aviation is cutting its workforce by around 2,500 personnel, particularly at its Canadian manufacturing divisions.

Bombardier Aviation is cutting its workforce by around 2,500 personnel, particularly at its Canadian manufacturing divisions.

The airframer, which has largely withdrawn from commercial aviation operations to focus on executive jets, says business jet deliveries are forecast to be down 30% this year.

Bombardier says it “must adjust” its operations and staffing to enable it to emerge from the coronavirus crisis “on solid footing”.

The personnel reductions will be carried out progressively through the remainder of this year, it adds.

Bombardier had noted in its first-quarter 2020 briefing that Canadian operations – where its Global and Challenger jets are assembled – were suspended in the last week of March, along with aerostructures work in Mexico and Belfast, affecting 15,000 employees – with most aviation employees starting to return from 4 May.

Aircraft deliveries due in the first quarter were delayed and cash flow negatively affected as a result of the economic uncertainty and reduced order intake.

It added that it expected a “significant reduction” in business aircraft demand and lower business jet utilisation this year, partly resulting from government lockdown measures.

Bombardier has been analysis various scenarios based on its backlog and forecast demand, with a view to adjusting production as necessary. The company employs 60,000 staff across its two business sectors, aviation and transportation.

It says the “difficult” decision to cut the workforce will lead to an exceptional charge of $40 million for 2020. The company expects to provide more detail on the market outlook in its second-quarter briefing on 6 August.

Bombardier’s Belfast division has not given any insight into the specific impact of the cuts on its facilities.

“We are reviewing our requirements for our Northern Ireland operations for all our aircraft programmes and will communicate any impact in due course,” the division states.