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Bombardier loses top business jet ranking to Gulfstream

Higher revenues at $7.35 billion give the US aerospace company the edge.


Bombardier delivered 32 Challenger 605s in 2013. Photo: Bombardier

MONTREAL — Bombardier lost its position as the global business jet leader in 2013 for the first time in nearly a decade as Gulfstream posted US$1 billion more in billings than its Canadian rival, the General Aviation Manufacturers Association said.

Bombardier sold 25% more aircraft than Gulfstream, but the US company’s large, new G650 aircraft helped it to generate US$7.35 billion of revenues.

The Montreal-based manufacturer sold 180 business jets in 2013, one more than in 2012 as the value of its billings increased 8.6% to US$6.33 billion.

Bombardier delivered 62 large Global planes, 32 Challenger 605s, 55 Challenger 300s and 29 Learjets. The relative weakness in the small jet market saw Learjet deliveries fall by 10 planes, offset by the shipment of eight more Globals and seven more Challenger 300s.

Gulfstream’s total deliveries increased by 53% to 144 aircraft, including 121 larger models and 23 Gulfstream 150s and 280s.

Bombardier had said it was hopeful of remaining on top for an eighth consecutive year with a strong fourth quarter, but its billings trailed Gulfstream in all of the final three quarters of the year.

The industry shipped 678 business jets last year, six more planes than in 2012.

Total aircraft shipments, including single and twin-engine turboprops, rose 4.3% to 2,256 planes as billings grew 24% to US$23.4 billion. That was the second-highest level since 2008.

The association said improved numbers across all categories is fuelling “cautious optimism into 2014” as new aircraft are set to be introduced.

© 2014 The Canadian Press