Learjet production transitioning to maintenance
Bombardier is transitioning its Wichita facilities and employees there from production to maintenance to support the Learjet line of light and midsize jets, following the end of production back in February.
Production was ended this year as Bombardier laid out a plan to reduce costs and become a pure-play business aviation entity that focused on its more profitable Global and Challenger aircraft lines. The decision wasn’t taken lightly, president and CEO Éric Martel had said: “The iconic Learjet has had a remarkable and lasting impact on business aviation.”
With more than 3,000 Learjets delivered since first entering the market in 1963 and more than 2,000 still in service, Bombardier executives stressed they are not abandoning the brand, but instead making plans to step up maintenance and support.
Bombardier is actually planning to hand over the final Learjet early next year, but the transition is already underway with hangars being shifted to its support and other activities as production begins to wind down. In addition, Bombardier has begun to train Learjet production workers to become certified airframe and powerplant technicians to continue its support of the fleet.
Jean-Christophe Gallagher, executive vice president, Services, Support, and Strategy, Bombardier, had noted questions raised by some after the announcement for the Wichita site, but he stressed its existing footprint there is needed as demand for services continues and that the site is “alive and well.”