MONTREAL (Reuters) - Bombardier Inc’s (BBDb.TO) largest business jet is making its debut on Sunday in Las Vegas, giving a glimpse of the ultra long-range plane the Canadian company is counting on for growth at a time of sluggish industry sales and as it fights a trade battle over a separate jet.
The new Global 7000, the industry’s largest jet designed for private or corporate use, will be on display at the National Business Aviation Association’s flagship industry trade show on Oct. 10-12.
When it enters service next year, the Global 7000, with a list price of almost $73 million, will play a key role in the five-year turnaround plan of Bombardier, which also makes trains, after a near-brush with bankruptcy in 2015.
A separate Bombardier plane, the CSeries, has been caught up in a trade dispute, with the U.S. Commerce department slapping a preliminary 300 percent duty on sales of the commercial jets after Boeing complained its Canadian rival received illegal subsidies and dumped the aircraft at “absurdly low” prices.
With eight customer jets in production and about 900 hours logged in its flight test program, the Global 7000 is on track for deliveries in late 2018, Bombardier said in a statement.
“We have a healthy order book for the Global 7000 and can confirm that the aircraft is sold out until 2021,” said Bombardier Business Aircraft President David Coleal by email.
Analysts expect the aircraft will add $300 million to operating profit and contribute nearly one-third of Bombardier’s targeted $10 billion in business jet revenues in 2020.
“High-end business jets have always been the most important and most profitable part of the company,” said Teal Group aerospace analyst Richard Aboulafia by email. “Even with the CSeries ramping up, much of the company’s fortunes still depend on Global deliveries.”
Coleal would not disclose orders for the jet, which can fly eight passengers non-stop from London to Singapore or Dubai to New York City with a maximum operating speed of Mach 0.925 (709.7 miles or 1,142 km per hour).
The Global 7000 faces competition from France’s Dassault Aviation SA (AVMD.PA) and General Dynamics Corp’s (GD.N) Gulfstream. Aboulafia said Gulfstream was threatening to overtake Bombardier as the market leader in revenue from overall business jet deliveries.
Pre-owned aircraft broker Jetcraft is forecasting deliveries of 8,349 aircraft over 10 years worth about $252 billion based on 2017 prices.
Still, business jet deliveries are struggling to recover after the financial crisis, having been cut in half from their peak of 1,317 in 2008 to 661 in 2016, according to General Aviation Manufacturers Association.
Aboulafia of Teal Group expects “modest, single-digit growth through 2019.”
Reporting by Allison Lampert; Editing by Denny Thomas and Richard Chang