Bombardier Supplier Declares Bankruptcy

Grob Aerospace, which is developing the composite materials for Bombardier’s new Learjet 85 business plane, will continue to operate despite filing for bankruptcy.

MONTREAL (CP) -- Bombardier Aerospace assured Tuesday that the development of its new Learjet 85 business plane won't be unduly affected by the bankruptcy of Grob Aerospace, which is developing the composite materials for the new aircraft.

The German-Swiss company was also expected to build the Learjet 85's first three prototypes. Bombardier is counting on the plane to maintain its position as market leader as manufacturer of business aircraft.

Bombardier spokesman Marc Duchesne said Grob's work on the Learjet 95 will continue as expected.

"Grob isn't quitting the Learjet 85 program," he said in an interview. "They will continue to operate under the supervision of an interim administrator."

Bombardier has received 46 firm orders and 90 letters of interest for the Learjet 85, which is expected to enter into service by January 2013.

Grob declared bankruptcy Monday in Germany after its main source of capital withdrew financial support over certification delays for its new SPn light business jet program.

Chief executive Niall Olver said Tuesday that he will examine all possibilities to resolve the liquidity problems "without delay."

The Learjet 85, which will be comprised entirely of composite materials, can carry up to eight passengers at a speed of Mach 0.82 over more than 5,500 kilometres.

The prototype will be built at Grob's plant in Tussenhausen-Mattsies, near Munich, which employs about 500 people.

Bombardier's shares closed Tuesday at $7.22, down 3.2 percent.

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