Bom­bardier to cut 5,000 jobs, some in Wi­chita

The Wichita Eagle - - Front Page - BY JERRY SIEBENMARK jsieben­mark@wi­chi­taea­gle.com

Bom­bardier is sell­ing its tur­bo­prop air­liner and busi­ness jet flight train­ing pro­grams, and cut­ting 5,000 jobs.

The job cuts will af­fect Wi­chita, though Bom­bardier Inc. spokesman Si­mon Le­tendre said Thurs­day he doesn’t know how many lo­cal work­ers will be cut.

“I don’t have de­tailed num­bers by site and I’m un­able to give you a fig­ure for Wi­chita,” Le­tendre said.

The Wi­chita site — which as­sem­bles Lear­jets, per­forms flight test­ing of all the com­pany’s air­craft and also re­pairs and main­tains Bom­bardier’s full line of busi­ness jets — em­ploys about 1,600 peo­ple.

Le­tendre said the job cuts come as the com­pany winds down the de­vel­op­ment of two big air­craft pro­grams: the C Se­ries pas­sen­ger jet, which was ac­quired by Air­bus in June and is now known as the A220; and the Global 7500 busi­ness jet, which the com­pany an­nounced Wed­nes­day has re­ceived Fed­eral Avi­a­tion Ad­min­is­tra­tion cer­ti­fi­ca­tion with first de­liv­ery ex­pected be­fore the end of De­cem­ber.

With the con­clu­sion of those air­craft de­vel­op­ment pro­grams, “we have to ad­just and re­de­ploy our en­gi­neer­ing work­force, and this will have an im­pact on Wi­chita, of course,” Le­tendre said.

He said across Bom­bardier, 75 per­cent of the lay­offs will af­fect its aero­space work­force while the re­main­ing 25 per­cent will

af­fect work­ers in its train man­u­fac­tur­ing busi­ness. The com­pany has 69,500 em­ploy­ees world­wide.

Le­tendre said the job cuts will oc­cur over the next 12 to 18 months.

Mon­treal-based Bom­bardier made the re­struc­tur­ing an­nounce­ment Thurs­day morn­ing as part of its earn­ings for the quar­ter ended Sept. 30, which showed a 5 per­cent drop in rev­enue but a profit of $149 mil­lion com­pared with a loss in the year-ago quar­ter.

Bom­bardier also said it was sell­ing for $300 mil­lion its Q-400 pro­gram and de Hav­i­land trade­mark to the par­ent of Vik­ing Air, which bought Bom­bardier’s aerial fire­fight­ing air­craft pro­gram a few years ago.

The com­pany also an­nounced the sale of its busi­ness air­craft train­ing unit to CAE for $645 mil­lion. The deal gives CAE full flight sim­u­la­tors and train­ing de­vices for all of Bom­bardier’s busi­ness jet prod­uct lines, Lear­jet, Chal­lenger and Global, in­clud­ing its new­est Global 5500, 6500 and 7500 large-cabin jets.

On a con­fer­ence call Thurs­day with an­a­lysts, Bom­bardier CEO Alain Belle­mare also ac­knowl­edged the com­pany is “ex­plor­ing strate­gic op­tions” for its Canadair re­gional jet pro­gram, where he said the com­pany is los­ing money.

He said Bom­bardier has 1,500 CRJs in op­er­a­tion around the world.

Bom­bardier said the job cuts are part of “a new en­ter­prise-wide pro­duc­tiv­ity pro­gram to fur­ther stream­line, lean out and sim­plify the Com­pany.” It ex­pects to save about $250 mil­lion from the cuts.

Le­tendre said Thurs­day’s ac­tions were part of the com­pany’s five-year turn­around plan to strengthen its fi­nances.

“We’re con­tin­u­ing to im­prove our pro­cesses,” he said. “The ob­jec­tive here is re­ally to fo­cus our en­ergy on the high­est growth ac­tiv­i­ties and busi­ness air­craft is part of that.”

MIKE HUTMACHER The Wi­chita Ea­gle

Bom­bardier’s Wi­chita site, which as­sem­bles Lear­jets, em­ploys about 1,600 peo­ple.

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