Bombardier Lands First And Billion-Dollar NetJets Order

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Bombardier, which earned more orders in the fourth quarter of 2010 than it had in the previous nine quarters combined, has landed its first deal with NetJets and one that could be worth up to $6.7 billion, The Wall Street Journal reported Wednesday. The new order represents 30 Global 5000 Vision and Global Express XRS Vision jets, plus 20 Global 7000 and Global 8000 jets, with options for an additional 70 aircraft. Deliveries of the first 50 represent about $2.8 billion, would begin in the final quarter of 2012, and could range beyond 2017. That tops off 78 new orders earned by the company in the fourth quarter last year. Bombardier's Chief Executive, Pierre Boudoin, isn't convinced that the orders promise sustained positive change in the business jet segment, and comments from NetJets CEO, David Sokol, may support that.

According to NetJets' Sokol, "We are taking advantage of the current lull in the private aviation market to position the NetJets fleet for the future." Speaking for Bombardier, Boudoin said in an interview, "We've seen a strong comeback. Will it hold? Will it continue? In the volatile market we're in, I think we need to follow that step by step." Boudoin said the order of very long-range aircraft doesn't compete with Bombardier's own fractional business-jet unit, Flexjet, because Flexjet is not an international fractional operator. Bombardier is currently perched as the third-largest airplane manufacturer in the world, behind Boeing and Airbus.