- The iconic Learjet is going out of production this year.
- Bombardier made the “difficult decision” as it looks to cut costs and boost profits.
- The Learjet first hit the market in 1963 and sold more than 3,000 units.
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Bombardier will stop building the iconic Learjet model of private jet after nearly six decades on the market as part of a plan to drive profitability.
The Canadian business-jet manufacturer will end production of the long-running model in the fourth quarter of 2021, it said in a statement reporting its 2020 earnings. Bombardier said dropping the Learjet from its lineup will allow it to focus on its higher-margin aircraft, the Challenger and Global models.
“Given the increasingly challenging market dynamics, we have made this difficult decision to end Learjet production,” Bombardier’s CEO, Eric Martel, said in a statement.
The Learjet entered production in 1963 and sold more than 3,000 units over its lifespan, Bombardier said. Bombardier bought the Learjet Corporation in 1990.
During its more than half a century on the market, the Learjet broke through into popular culture and became synonymous with luxury air travel. It was namedropped in songs by Carly Simon and Pink Floyd and became Frank Sinatra’s aircraft of choice starting in the mid-1960s.
The move comes amid larger restructuring plans to reduce costs and increase profitability. Bombardier said it plans to cut 1,600 jobs, bringing its total global workforce to around 13,000.
“These reductions are absolutely necessary for us to rebuild our company while we continue to navigate through the pandemic,” Martel said.
Bombardier has also been shedding businesses outside of its core private jet unit as it seeks to boost profits and pay debts. Last year, the firm sold its commercial aviation division to Airbus and agreed to sell its rail division to French manufacturer Alstom for $8.2 billion.