Bombardier Could Sell Bizjet Line to Textron


The Wall Street Journal is reporting that cash-strapped Bombardier is in talks with Textron to sell its bizjet program. The move follows Bombardier selling a majority share of its C Series to Airbus (which is now the A220) and last summer’s sale of its regional jet business to Mitsubishi Heavy Industries. The WSJ is reporting that talks have been in progress “for several weeks” and that for Bombardier time is of the essence, with some $1.5 billion in debt to be paid next year. Last month, Bombardier hinted that it could sell off more of its aviation portfolio. It’s also trying to divest itself of its train-building business.

Speculation is that if Textron takes over the Bombardier line, it’s likely the smaller aircraft that overlap Cessna’s own offerings will not continue. Forbes’ Brian Foley says that the potential deal “leaves the most lucrative and largest Bombardier jets, the Global line, ripe for Textron to plug it into its current lineup of small and medium jets, giving it the long-missing large products to effectively compete with the likes of General Dynamics’ Gulfstream and Dassault’s Falcon units.” Bizjet sales have been soft over the last few years despite a strong U.S. economy. 

Foley and others have pointed out that Textron has had its share of financial challenges recently. Late last year, it laid off nearly 900 employees in a restructuring effort. Bombardier recently received FAA certification for its Global 5500 and 6500 bizjets

Marc Cook
KITPLANES Editor in Chief Marc Cook has been in aviation journalism for more than 30 years. He is a 4000-hour instrument-rated, multi-engine pilot with experience in nearly 150 types. He’s completed two kit aircraft, an Aero Designs Pulsar XP and a Glasair Sportsman 2+2, and currently flies a 2002 GlaStar.

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  1. Well, good question as to how this company got themselves into the position of going down the financial drain. As far as this observer can tell, the products they produced are successful products in good demand, yet they are “cash strapped”…..

    • If something like Bombardier’s divestment needs a trigger, the C Series (now A220) uncontained P&W engine malfunction during testing on May 29, 2014 might well have been that trigger. Having watched the aftermath of that event on location in the neighborhood as an outsider looking in, that’s the way it felt to me at the time.

  2. Learjet is essentially gone anyway. Perhaps they’ll re-brand the latest model as a Beechjet or something!

  3. It’s possible that we are seeing the bizjet market becoming saturated. How many “new” medium sized jets have hit the market in the past couple years? Even the 1% can only afford so many new planes. I foresee a shakeout in the industry and Bombardier is only the first victim.

  4. At the risk of putting a political twist to this sad story. Bombardier is headquartered in the Province
    of Quebec, Montreal to be exact. They are the epidemy of Liberal pork barrellers. Constantly
    sucking on the hind tit of the Liberal government when in power. It is difficult to determine the total in subsidies over the years always disguised as a repayable loan never to happen. Suffice to say the internal
    mob have sucked up likely in excess of 50 to 100 billion $$. Evert time they down size lay off employees
    with more outsourcing. Surprising of recent past 5+ yrs after a $350Bil injection they unnoted the senior
    cosa nostra execs with 50% salary and bonus increases. A beautiful product and world class aircraft to be
    sold for the sake of corporate greed.