Bombardier halts CRJ sales amid pending divestiture

News provided by FlightGlobal.com – link to full story

26 June 2019 by Jon Hemmerdinger

New Bombardier CRJ regional jets are no longer for sale.

The Montreal airframer confirms it has halted sales of additional new CRJs due to its pending divestiture of the CRJ programme to Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (MHI).

Bombardier announced the MHI deal on 25 June, saying it “expected to conclude” CRJ production in the second half of 2020 following delivery of all remaining aircraft in the backlog.

It now confirms it has halted sales activities, news that seemingly assures the imminent end of the CRJ line.

“There will be no more CRJ sales,” Bombardier tells FlightGlobal. “CRJ production will wind down until all aircraft in the current backlog have been delivered.”

Bombardier’s CRJ backlog stands at 36 CRJ900s, the majority of which are destined for the fleets of Air Canada‘s regional partner Jazz and US regional carriers PSA Airlines and SkyWest Airlines. Uganda Airlines also has outstanding orders for two CRJ900s, according to Cirium’s Fleets Analyzer.

Bombardier expects to close the sale of the CRJ programme to MHI, parent of Mitsubishi Aircraft, in the first half of 2020. The deal calls for Mitsubishi to pay $550 million in cash for the programme and to assume some $200 million in debt.

After the deal closes, Bombardier will continue producing CRJs for MHI until the backlog is cleared.

When asked about the status of the CRJ programme’s existing sales and marketing staff, Bombardier deferred to its 25 June media release.

“Pursuant to the agreement, MHI will acquire the maintenance, support, refurbishment, marketing and sales activities for the CRJ Series aircraft,” Bombardier’s release said.

MHI will also acquire CRJ type certificates and CRJ service and support centers in Montreal, Toronto, Bridgeport in West Virginia and Tucson in Arizona.

Bombardier delivered the first CRJ in 1992. When the backlog is clear in 2020, the company will have handed over more than 2,100 of the regional jets, Fleets Analyzer shows.

News of the Bombardier-MHI CRJ deal comes one week after Mitsubishi Aircraft rebranded its in-development MRJ as SpaceJet. It also announced development of a new 76-seat variant called the SpaceJet M100, which will complement the existing 88-seat SpaceJet M90, which Mitsubishi Aircraft expects to deliver from 2020.