Bombardier Aerospace announced today that it is reducing production rates of its CRJ Series aircraft, resulting in the loss of approximately 2,000 jobs at its MontrÃ©al and Belfast sites. The jobs, which will cost Bombardier $26 million in severance costs, will be lost over a nine-month period starting this November.
“Given the context of the airline industry and the financial difficulties facing a number of our customers, we must continue to be prudent and proactively manage our production rates and delivery schedule to reduce our exposure to the cancellation or deferral of orders,” said Pierre Beaudoin, President and Chief Operating Officer, Bombardier Aerospace.
Production of the 50-passenger Bombardier CRJ200 will be reduced to a rate of one aircraft every four days from a rate of one aircraft produced every three days, or a total of 68 CRJ200 deliveries in the next fiscal year.
The 70-passenger Bombardier CRJ700 and 86-passenger CRJ900 production level will remain at the rate of one aircraft produced every three days, or 77 CRJ700/CRJ900 aircraft deliveries in the next fiscal year.
Bombardier said that this rate was established at the beginning of the current fiscal year and will not be increased as planned. The company added that in Belfast, due to the necessity of a long production lead-time within the aircraft manufacturing cycle, the production rate for the CRJ700/900 programs had already increased and will now revert to the original rate. This will result in the loss of 560 jobs at the company’s Belfast site.
Additionally, Delta, a major CRJ customer, is facing what Bombardier describes as ‘unprecedented financial challenges’. Bombardier went onto to say that if Delta were unable to take delivery of CRJ aircraft, a further cut in the Bombardier CRJ Series production rate would be implemented with the loss of an additional 1,200 employees.
“By making these difficult but necessary decisions, we will remain competitive and ensure our success in the long term,” concluded Beaudoin.