February 29, 2008 / 3:12 PM / 9 years ago

Demand surge lifts Bombardier aircraft deliveries

3 Min Read

<p>Laurent Beaudoin (R), chairman and chief executive officer of Bombardier Inc. adjusts his notes prior to the company's annual meeting as son Pierre Beaudoin, president and chief operating officer of Bombardier Aerospace looks on in Montreal, May 29, 2007. Bombardier Inc said on Friday that its aircraft deliveries rose more than 10 percent during the past fiscal year on strong demand for business jets and a rebound in the regional jet market.Christinne Muschi</p>

MONTREAL (Reuters) - Bombardier Inc (BBDb.TO) said on Friday that its aircraft deliveries rose more than 10 percent during the past fiscal year on strong demand for business jets and a rebound in the regional jet market.

Bombardier, the world's third-largest civil aircraft maker and global No. 1 manufacturer of trains, said it delivered 361 aircraft in the year ended January 31. That was up from 326 deliveries in the previous fiscal year.

Aircraft orders almost doubled to 698 from 363, with business jets and regional aircraft accounting for the increase.

It was the fourth straight year of higher orders and deliveries for business aircraft, Bombardier said.

Business jet deliveries rose 9 percent to 232 from 212, while orders surged to 452 from 274, aided by 154 orders in the fourth quarter versus 117 in the year earlier period.

"This fiscal year, a significant growth in demand for Bombardier business jets from major emerging markets, such as Russia and Asia, tipped the balance over the previously dominant U.S. market and progressively shifted demand for business jets to international markets," Bombardier said.

Some 30 percent of the Canadian company's business jet orders came from the United States.

Bombardier said it had a leading 26 percent of the global market for business aircraft, based on revenue, in the calendar year.

Bombardier's business jets include the Learjet, Challenger, Global 5000 and Global Express series.

Regional aircraft deliveries rose 14 percent to 128 from 112 in the previous year, as demand continued to shift toward larger jets and turboprops, the company said.

Last week, the company said it would begin offering its 110-to-130-seat CSeries airliner to prospective customers ahead of an expected official launch of the $3.2 billion jet program later this year.

The CSeries would take Bombardier into markets dominated by Boeing Co (BA.N) and Airbus <EAD.PA.

Bombardier said it delivered 47 of its Q400 turboprops during the year, up from 31 the previous year, and 56 of its CRJ900/CRJ900 NextGen jets, up from 50.

Regional aircraft orders more than doubled to 238 from 87, with 51 orders in the fourth quarter, compared with 21 in the previous year.

Bombardier said Mesa Air Group Inc MESA.O converted its two orders of CRJ900 jets to CRJ700 NexGen jets. Italy's My Way Airlines converted its remaining 15 orders of CRJ900 jets to CRJ1000s.

Bombardier's class B shares were off 9 Canadian cents at C$5.72 on the Toronto Stock Exchange on Friday morning.

($1=$0.97 Canadian)

Reporting by Robert Melnbardis; editing by Janet Guttsman

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