Bombardier To Lay Off 1 600 Staff As Pandemic Caps Business Jet Demand

Business jet maker Bombardier Inc said on Thursday it would cut about 1,600 jobs and reported an adjusted loss before interest and taxes for the fourth quarter, as the COVID-19 pandemic weighs down aircraft demand.

Bombardier, which in November had flagged likely layoffs as part its move to cut capacity, plans to end the production of its Learjet aircraft later in 2021 to focus on the more profitable Challenger and Global aircraft families.

The Montreal-based company, which has become a pure-play business-jet maker after selling its rail division to French train maker Alstom SA, reported a 19.7% fall in business aircraft deliveries in 2020.

Bombardier, however, saw an uptick in orders in December 2020, as U.S. buyers rushed to take advantage of favorable tax rules they feared could change under President Joe Biden’s administration.

The company reported an adjusted loss before interest, taxes of $165 million for the quarter ended Dec. 31, compared with a profit of $168 million a year earlier.

Business jet deliveries of the company, which will host its Investor Day on March 4, fell to 114 units in 2020 from 142 in the previous year.

The company expects Adjusted EBITDA of more than $500 million in 2021. Analysts on average estimate it to be $661.3 million, according to Refinitiv IBES data.

Bombardier reported 2020 free cash flow usage from continuing operations of $1.9 billion, partly hit by pandemic-related disruptions, and expects free cash flow usage in 2021 to be more than $500 million.