No consolation in consolidation

Bombardier Aerospace will shed 1150 jobs as it consolidates final assembly and completion of its Learjet and Challenger series business aircraft at sites in Wichita, Kansas and Dorval, Québec.

Bombardier Aerospace has announced plans to create integrated manufacturing centres for its Bombardier Learjet and Challenger Series business jets at its Wichita, Kansas and Dorval, Québec locations.

The new business aircraft manufacturing centres will regroup business aircraft final line activities and interior completions at one site. By combining these two activities in one location, the company plans to reduce its production cycle times and inventory levels.

According to Bombardier Aerospace, the creation of the two business aircraft integrated manufacturing centres will result in total net savings of $33 million Cdn annually ($25 million US) starting with the first full year of operation. The integrated manufacturing centres will be fully operational by the first quarter of 2005.

The creation of these integrated manufacturing centres will result in the relocation of manufacturing activities and job losses. Estimated severance costs related to the reduction in employment levels will be approximately $8 million US.

In Tucson, a reduction of approximately 800 jobs over the next 15 to 18 months will take place as a result of the transfer of Bombardier Learjet interior completions to Wichita and Bombardier Challenger interior completions to Dorval.

However, Tucson has been selected as the location for the western Bombardier Regional Aircraft Service Centre, which will result in the creation of approximately 300 new jobs over a three-year period. The Bombardier Business Aviation Services Centre will continue to operate at the site, adjacent to Tucson International Airport.

Approximately 350 job will be lost in Wichita over the next 12 to 15 months. The increase in the number of employees due to the transfer of Bombardier Learjet completions from Tucson to Wichita will be offset by a reduction in the workforce as the assembly process of the Bombardier Challenger 300 is moved to Dorval.

The company said operations at Toronto, Mirabel and Belfast are not affected by the restructuring.