Bombardier says sales are so good at the top of the market it's going to increase production of its Global series of business jets. "Our backlog is growing and we're actually increasing our production rates in March of next year, and we're also looking at further increases in the following year," Simon Roberts, VP and manager of the company's Toronto plant, told Reuters. The company announced two new aircraft in the Global series just prior to the National Business Aviation Association convention in October and will spend up to $1.8 billion to develop the ultra-long-range 7000 and 8000 jets. Bombardier also took the time to gently refute a Middle Eastern airline owner's harsh assessment of its CSeries airliner program.
Last week, Qatar Airlines CEO Akbar Al Bakar slammed Boeing and Bombardier for program delays. While Boeing's troubles with the 787 have been well-documented, it was the first suggestion that Bombardier might be falling behind with the CSeries (Al Baker said the new Pratt and Whitney engines were to blame) and it's an allegation the company has politely deflected. Philippe Poutissou, Bombardier's vice-president of marketing, commercial aircraft, told Reuters the first conforming copy of the new geared turbofan from Pratt is being tested in Florida. "We are quite pleased with the progress the engine's making," Poutissou said. "Of course it's critical that we have an engine available when we're ready with the airframe."