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Bombardier is a global transportation company, headquartered in Montréal, Canada. It is present in more than 60 countries on five continents and is active in the manufacture of products, systems and the provision of services for the aviation (commercial and business jets) and rail transportation sectors. The division responsible for the company's aircraft manufacturing and related services is Bombardier Aerospace. The division is headquartered in Dorval, Quebec and ranks as the world’s third largest civil aircraft manufacturer, employing of 37,700 people. Its aircraft range includes:
- Business aircraft - Learjet, Challenger and Global aircraft families;
- Commercial aircraft - new C Series program, CRJ Series and Q-Series aircraft families;
- Amphibious aircraft - Bombardier 415 and Bombardier 415 MP aircraft;
- Jet travel solutions - Flexjet;
- Specialised aircraft solutions - Bombardier aircraft modified for special missions;
- Aircraft services and training - aircraft parts, maintenance, comprehensive training, technical support and publications, and online services.
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139 total articles
Canada’s two largest airlines are embarking on 2017 with a tilt toward international expansion. Air Canada is continuing its march toward building a global competitive network that rivals those of its North American global airline peers, and WestJet is setting the stage to expand a long haul trans-Atlantic network. As has been the case during the past few years, the bulk of Air Canada’s capacity expansion will be directed into international markets in 2017; WestJet is pledging slower system capacity growth after its expansion in 2016, which coupled with unit revenue pressure has created some investor anxiety.
Both airlines are beginning 2017 with higher valuations as Canada’s economic growth should settle towards 2% in 2017. Although the country’s economic growth forecast is not stellar, it is at least stable. Canada’s province of Alberta is climbing out of a recession after the region’s economic weakness had created challenges for Canadian airlines during the last year.
Two aspiring Canadian ULCCs are attempting to launch operations in 2017, joining NewLeaf Travel – which has recently cancelled new routes after encroachment by WestJet. Canada’s first low cost airline has pledged to compete fiercely with the start-ups, and its actions are reinforcing that declaration.
WestJet forges crucial deal with pilots for long haul expansion, but unionisation threat looms large
Canada’s second largest airline WestJet has eliminated uncertainty over its widebody expansion as 2016 has come to a close, reaching a deal with its pilots that allows the company to move forward in adding Boeing 767 widebodies to its fleet. The latest agreement follows a rejection of an earlier agreement by Westjet's pilots in Nov-2016, which placed in doubt the company’s ability to fully execute its long haul ambitions.
At the same time as pilots rejected the previous offer the Air Line Pilots Association (ALPA) was amping up efforts to unionise WestJet’s pilots. Independent entities have attempted to unionise the airline’s pilots in the past, but ALPA’s scale and resources offer a different level of heft to a potentially unionised workforce at WestJet.
Although WestJet can now move forward in crystallising its long haul strategy, the threat of unionisation among the company’s pilots and flight attendants looms large, and the airline could be a prime target for larger, more powerful unions.
The Thai Airways Group is determining a growth rate and assessing its aircraft needs for the medium to long term as part of a new five-year plan. The new plan should be completed by mid-2017 and may result in new narrowbody and widebody aircraft orders by the end of 2017.
Thai Airways is at an important juncture with its fleet as it has only 12 outstanding aircraft orders, all of which will be delivered in 2017 and 2018. The group currently does not have any commitments for additional narrowbody aircraft, which are needed to continue pursuing regional international growth at its full service subsidiary Thai Smile in line with its current multi-brand strategy.
New widebody aircraft are also required for growth and replacements, starting with its ageing 747-400 fleet. The group’s widebody passenger fleet will increase from 72 to 77 aircraft by the end of 2017, partially offsetting recent reductions in the fleet.
On 28-Nov-2016 airBaltic took delivery of the world's first Bombardier CS300 for commercial service, which will begin on 14-Dec-2016 with a flight from Riga to Amsterdam. It will receive a further 19 of the aircraft variant by 2019.
Just five years ago airBaltic was heavily loss-making and close to bankruptcy. Under CEO Martin Gauss Latvia's national airline has negotiated a successful restructuring programme, established a track record of growing profits, secured a private investor alongside the national government, made significant load factor gains, and is now returning to capacity growth.
The new CSeries order should allow airBaltic to build on these achievements by replacing its ageing Boeing 737s with one of the most modern and efficient narrowbodies aircraft in the world, while also providing additional growth capacity. Together with its Dash-8 turboprop aircraft this purchase should give it a fleet well adapted to the niche needs of a hybrid regional hub airline based in northern Europe's smaller markets.
The first commercial flight of the Bombardier CS300 on 14-Dec-2016, operated by airBaltic from Riga to Amsterdam, will be a major milestone for the Canadian manufacturer's new C Series aircraft programme. Three CS100 aircraft are already in service with SWISS, so the airBaltic flight will mean that both variants of the C Series are finally in commercial operation.
The programme is Bombardier's first wholly new aircraft development, aimed at the 100 to 150-seat market segment and offering advantages of fuel efficiency, cabin space, noise and emissions. Bombardier once targeted 2013 for entry into service, but has been dogged by problems and delays. In 2015, Bombardier seemed to have overstretched itself. The C Series received no new orders during the year and Bombardier was forced to seek investment from the Province of Québec to rescue the programme.
In 2016 the company has recovered to win a net 117 new orders, its highest annual total, bringing the programme total to 360. However, competition is cut-throat, with Airbus, Boeing and Embraer all having new developments of existing products in the same space as the C Series. Bombardier's breakthrough orders from Air Canada and Delta in 2016 required heavy price discounts.
Three years ago Canada’s Porter Airlines had a different vision of how its business would take shape by its 10th anniversary in Oct-2016. The company decided to pursue ambitious expansion at its largest and strategic base by lobbying for an expansion of the runway at Billy Bishop Toronto airport to support the operation of jets at the airport, and at the same time placing an order for Bombardier CSeries jets.
Porter’s efforts ultimately failed, and during the past year the airline has been largely silent about how it intends to shape its future. Even though it generates positive customer sentiment, the lack of clarity about how it intends to shape its future has fuelled speculation over Porter’s ultimate staying power.
It is not clear if privately owned Porter is profitable, but after the sale of a terminal at Billy Bishop its balance sheet is undoubtedly in favourable shape, giving the airline some flexibility when and if it crystallises any plans for expansion.