Bombardier sees 2017 catch-up in jet deliveries, lifting export lag

Mon Nov 28, 2016 6:38pm EST
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By Leah Schnurr and Allison Lampert

OTTAWA/MONTREAL (Reuters) - Bombardier hopes to make up for lost ground on its plane exports next year, an executive said on Monday, after fewer-than-expected CSeries shipments contributed to a weaker outlook for Canadian aerospace exports in 2016.

Bombardier said in September that it would ship seven CSeries planes in 2016 rather than the 15 it had expected due to engine delivery delays by supplier Pratt & Whitney, a unit of United Technologies Corp.

That was part of the reason Export Development Canada (EDC) in October cut this year's forecast for export growth in the aerospace sector in half.

The aerospace sector is now expected to see 6 percent growth, sharply lower than the 13 percent growth EDC had forecast in the spring, due to a combination of a weaker global economic outlook and the change in Bombardier's plans, said Ross Prusakowski, senior economist at EDC.

On Monday, Bombardier Commercial Aircraft President Fred Cromer said he expects to meet CSeries delivery projections for 2017 and possibly play catch-up on 2016.

"We may catch up a little bit," he told reporters at its Mirabel factory. "But it's going to take mostly through 2017 for us to kind of get right back on track."

Bombardier plans to deliver 30 CSeries planes next year, which should help give overall exports a much-needed lift if delivered, economists said.

The aerospace sector saw export growth of 14 percent in 2015 as most Canadian aircraft and parts manufacturers experienced solid growth, said EDC’s Prusakowski.   Continued...

A Bombardier logo is pictured on the company booth during the European Business Aviation Convention & Exhibition (EBACE) at Cointrin airport in Geneva, Switzerland, May 24, 2016.  REUTERS/Denis Balibouse