Biz Market Bottom Elusive

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Well, maybe the business jet market hasn't bottomed after all. Rosy predictions by some companies as recently as a few weeks ago that the market was on the mend have been soured by the numbers. Bombardier was among those cautiously saying things looked better but then its order book took a battering with 61 first-quarter cancellations and now it has a ramp with 25 white tails, finished jets that do not have buyers. It also has 35 used aircraft in stock, up from 25 a few months ago, according to The Financial Post. But while an analyst quoted by the Post says it will be six years before the market returns to 2008 levels, Bombardier is a little more optimistic.

The Post reported that Bombardier spokesman Guy Hachey told reporters on a conference call that there are "early signs" that the market has bottomed. He also noted the company's aerospace business still has a $25 billion backlog. Meanwhile, the questions inevitably turned to the bad reputation business aviation has, and continues to get, in political circles and in the general media. "Yes, it's a factor, the negative publicity of business aircraft, but I believe it's a small factor," Bombardier CEO Pierre Beaudoin said. "The more important one is the success of the economy and the success of corporations."