Bombardier delays C-Series flight, cuts train unit jobs

Wed Nov 7, 2012 5:34pm EST
 
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(Reuters) - Canada's Bombardier Inc BBDb.TO said it would delay by about six months the first flight of its C-Series jetliner because of issues related to suppliers, and that it would cut about 1,200 jobs in its train manufacturing division.

Bombardier, which also reported a 6 percent drop in third-quarter revenue -- mainly due to the train division and a stronger dollar -- said it would close a freight car plant in Aachen, Germany as part of the cutbacks in the business.

The Montreal-based company, the world's biggest train maker and No. 3 aircraft maker, said it would take a restructuring charge of up to $150 million in the current quarter.

Bombardier said it had agreed with suppliers to push back the first flight of the C-Series until the end of June 2013. The first flight had originally been planned for the end of 2012.

The company said deliveries of the 110-seat CS100 aircraft were expected to start about one year after the first flight.

It said on Wednesday it still expected the 130-seat CS300 to enter service at the end of 2014.

The delay of the inaugural flight had been widely expected because of the project's complexity and what analysts consider to be an extremely ambitious schedule.

Bombardier, which is investing $3.3 billion to develop the C-Series jets, said in August it would consider itself on schedule if it was within three to five months of its first-flight target.

Many analysts have said that a six-month extension would not be worrisome, but a longer delay would be cause for concern.   Continued...

 
Bombardier employees install parts on a Global 6000 aircraft at the manufacturing facilities in Toronto May 29, 2012. REUTERS/ Mike Cassese