MONTREAL (Reuters) - Canadian aircraft leasing company Global Vista, one of the largest customers for Bombardier’s long-range Global 7500 business jet, said on Thursday it expects greater demand for the plane after Canadian and U.S. regulators certify the aircraft.
Bombardier expects Canadian certification this month, a necessity if the Montreal-based plane-and-train maker is to begin delivering its flagship business jet to clients, Reuters reported this week citing sources. Regulator Transport Canada has the final say on timing.
“My personal belief is that after the aircraft is certified there will be pent-up demand because people want to see a certified aircraft,” Vista Global Chairman Thomas Flohr said in a phone interview.
The Global 7500, which is sold out until 2021, is expected to enter service this year and is crucial to Bombardier’s turnaround efforts after it sold a majority stake in its CSeries commercial jetliner program to Europe’s Airbus.
Bombardier has not disclosed the number of orders it has received for the Global 7500, which will challenge U.S rival Gulfstream Aerospace’s dominance of the top end of the market for long-range corporate planes.
The aircraft has a range of 7,700 nautical miles and carries up to 19 passengers and crew.
Flohr said Vista Global, a business aviation group that operates separate divisions aimed at services like leasing and chartering aircraft on a pay-for-hours structure, said he expects to begin taking deliveries from Bombardier in September 2019.
Flohr said he would make delivery slots for the 7500 available to customers through Vista Global’s leasing arm in 2020.
His remarks came after privately held Vista Global on Thursday agreed to buy California-based charter XOJET, which offers on-demand access to its 43 corporate planes through membership programs.
Vista Global expects further consolidation in the fragmented corporate charter market, as part of an industry trend that would help reduce costs and create more uniform standards for private jets.
Flohr would not disclose the deal’s value, or Vista Global’s revenues.
While a hefty supply of used aircraft has prompted planemakers to cut production of new corporate jets in recent years, some forecasters expect sales to pick up between 2019-2027, in line with global GDP growth. Buyers include individuals and corporations, but also owners of fleets who sell either on-demand programs, or equity in a plane through fractional ownership.
Reporting By Allison Lampert; Editing by Steve Orlofsky
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