Bombardier To Cut 3,000 Jobs

Canada's Bombardier Aerospace is cutting 10 percent of its work force because demand for business aircraft has deteriorated rapidly and is expected to remain weak.

TORONTO (AP) -- Canada's Bombardier Aerospace said Thursday it is cutting 3,000 jobs, or about 10 percent of its work force, because the demand for its business aircraft has deteriorated rapidly and is expected to remain weak for the foreseeable future.

The company said it now expects to deliver approximately 25 percent less business aircraft this fiscal year.

The world's third-largest maker of commercial aircraft said cuts will take place at its facilities in Canada, the United States, Mexico and Northern Ireland by the end of 2009.

The layoffs include 470 jobs at the company's Wichita, Kan., facility. Bombardier also shed 350 Wichita workers in an earlier round of cuts.

The layoffs are in addition to the 1,360 job cuts announced Feb. 5 when Bombardier adjusted the production rates of its Learjet and Challenger aircraft.

Demand for business jets has "deteriorated rapidly," the company said.

"Bombardier Aerospace is revising downward all of its business and regional jets production rates and implementing measures to meet the continuing challenges facing the aviation industry," the company said in releasing its earnings.

The cuts come just months after U.S. lawmakers scolded auto executives for flying to Washington in private jets to ask for taxpayer bailouts. Two of the largest makers of general-aviation aircraft -- Cessna, a unit of Providence, R.I.-based Textron and Hawker Beechcraft -- have launched advertising campaigns to tell business executives to ignore criticism and keep buying planes.

"There is no doubt that we are going through challenging times and our business environment is changing fast, Bombardier president and chief executive officer Pierre Beaudoin said in a statement. "There's a need for prudent execution, clear priorities and decisive action in the current action."

Bombardier is also the world's second-largest train maker.

The company also reported its financial results for fiscal 2009 on Thursday, saying net income rose to $309 million in the fourth quarter compared to $218 million the year before.

Earnings per share amounted to 17 cents, up from 12 cents per share in the same quarter of the 2008 business year.

Bombardier is cutting 975 jobs at its Belfast aircraft manufacturing plant, a move that a Northern Ireland leader called "a massive blow" to the province's economy. Montreal-based Bombardier is the largest manufacturer in Northern Ireland, employing about 5,300 full-time staff and 700 subcontractors at its Belfast base.

Directors told the work force there that 310 full-timers and 665 subcontractors would lose their jobs in coming months because demand for Bombardier aircraft had slowed in line with global recession. The subcontractors would be first to go, while union leaders will negotiate severance packages for those on long-term contracts.

"We are seeing a massive blow not just to the economy of east Belfast but to Northern Ireland," said First Minister Peter Robinson, who also represents east Belfast in the British Parliament in London.

Associated Press Writer Shawn Pogatchnik in Dublin contributed to this report.

More in Supply Chain