MONTREAL Oct 5 Canada's Bombardier Inc
expects the first flight of its new Global 7000
ultra-long-range business jet to take place in Toronto next
month, a boost for the plane whose entry-into-service has been
delayed two years, two sources familiar with the development
program said Wednesday.
The November test flight is expected to last longer than two
hours, and would be a milestone for the new luxury jet, which is
scheduled to enter service in 2018, said one of the sources, who
spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to
talk about the program.
Bombardier has previously said the business jet would make
its first flight in 2016, but some investors and analysts remain
skeptical because of delays. The Global 7000 was previously
expected to enter service in 2016.
"Investors are concerned about another potential schedule
slippage given low visibility on the first flight," Macquarie
analyst Konark Gupta wrote in a note to clients on Sept. 20.
Business jets have been especially important for Bombardier
earnings in recent years, as the commercial aircraft business
lost money and development of the CSeries jet loaded the company
down with debt. The CSeries entered service this summer after
years of delays.
"All hands are on deck now to make this happen," the source
said of the Global 7000. "They want to avoid a lot of the delays
that they had with the CSeries."
Mark Masluch, a spokesman for Bombardier Business Aircraft,
said Wednesday the Global 7000's GE Passport engines were
started on the test vehicle, but would not confirm a November
"We're progressing very well to fly this year."
(With additional reporting by Allison Martell; Editing by David