“Ride-sharing, in the old days, was everyone hopping in the VW bus to see [the Grateful Dead’s] Jerry [Garcia]. Now it’s about getting a seat on a King Air 350i ”
Bombardier Sees a Shifting Business Jet Market
The robust market for business jets will continue despite economic fears in the U.S., according to a recent speech in Montreal by Bombardier Aerospace president Pierre Beaudoin. Beaudoin--who will take the reins of parent company Bombardier from his father and current CEO, Laurent, on June 4--said the Montreal-based aircraft manufacturer's backlog for business jets is strong, with many models sold out for three years or more. However, demand is becoming much less U.S.-centric, he said. "The market has been growing by 20 percent annually since 2004 and it's changing rapidly," Beaudoin said. "This year, only 22 percent of our orders have come from the U.S., down from 70 percent in 2000 and 50 percent in 2006. Europe, Russia and Asia are buying more." In the nine months that ended October 31, Bombardier delivered 156 business jets, 13 more than in the same period in the previous year.