Bombardier Slashes Headcount

Aircraft manufacturer Bombardier is to cut a further 10% of its workforce as it seeks to restructure following slow sales of its flagship CSeries program.

About 2,000 of the 7,500 jobs to be axed will occur in Bombardier’s home country of Canada, with those in administration and non-production roles at risk.

On the other hand, Bombardier does intend to hire more staff to support the ramp-up of its CSeries and Global 7000 aircraft program, as well as it train manufacturing business.

The restructuring, which comes on top of almost equally savage 7,000 job cuts earlier this year, is described by Bombardier as “optimization and site specialization actions”, and will be carried out in the next two years.

Despite a one-off charge of up to $275 million, the company expects to save about $300 million per year once it has completed its downsizing.

“While restructuring is always difficult, the actions announced today are necessary to ensure Bombardier’s long-term competitiveness and position the company to continue to invest in its industry-leading portfolio while also deleveraging its balance sheet,” said Bombardier chief executive Alain Bellemare.

To boost meager sales, in April the company offered extraordinary discounts to secure an order for 75 CSeries aircraft from Delta Air Lines, a risky strategy that aimed to gain market traction but also encouraged other potential customers to seek similar deals.

Since then only Air Canada has placed a CSeries order, also thought to be at a punishing discount for Bombardier, and the Quebec government has pumped $1 billion into the company in return for a half share in the aircraft program. 

More new orders, at sensible prices, are now desperately needed if the CSeries isn’t to become known as the aircraft that cost 15,000 jobs – or worse.

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