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Bombardier Inc. (BBDb.TO) says it will deliver its first Global 7500 next week as the company’s biggest luxury jet makes its commercial debut two years later than initially planned.
The planemaker is planning an event near Montreal on Dec. 20 to mark the entry into service of its newest aircraft, according to a statement Tuesday. The Global 7500, which can fly nonstop from San Francisco to Singapore, has a list price of about US$73 million. The company didn’t identify the customer.
Bombardier is counting on the Global 7500 to generate at least US$2.5 billion of annual sales by 2020 as the Montreal-based manufacturer trims its commercial-plane operations to focus on business jets and trains. Canada’s largest aerospace company needs the boost from the long-range plane as it grapples with US$9.5 billion in adjusted debt and bond maturities starting in 2020.
In July 2015, Chief Executive Officer Alain Bellemare pushed back the Global 7500’s commercial debut by two years to the second half of 2018. At the time, the company cited unspecified “challenges” with the development of the plane, which was then known as the Global 7000.
David Coleal, who runs the company’s business-aircraft unit, said last week that Bombardier is planning to ship 15 to 20 Global 7500s next year, with most of those deliveries in the second half. Shipments of the jet will likely climb to as many as 40 in 2020 as Bombardier seeks to grab market share from General Dynamics Corp.’s Gulfstream G650.