By DAVID KOENIG and ROXANA HEGEMAN, Related Press
WICHITA, Kan. (AP) — The Learjet, which turned synonymous with life of the wealthy and well-known, is about to fade into aviation historical past.
Canada’s Bombardier introduced Thursday that it’ll cease manufacturing of the Learjet later this 12 months to concentrate on extra worthwhile planes.
Meaning the elimination of 1,600 jobs in Canada and the USA, one other blow to plane manufacturing, which has withered within the pandemic.
The enduring jet was among the many first personal luxurious planes. William Lear based mostly his design partially on army jets. The primary Learjet flew in 1963, and greater than 3,000 had been constructed since.
“It was modern and it had virtually a fighter-jet pedigree,” mentioned Richard Aboulafia, an aerospace analyst for Teal Group. “For its time it symbolized private government transportation. Apart from, Carly Simon put it right into a implausible tune – that cemented its place in widespread tradition.”
Together with being a line in Simon’s 1971 hit, “You are So Useless,” the jet confirmed up elsewhere in popular culture, together with the hit TV present “Mad Males.” Frank Sinatra let Elvis Presley borrow his Learjet to elope with Priscilla Beaulieu in 1967.
In recent times, manufacturing of the airplane had slowed to about one a month. Thursday’s choice was foreshadowed in 2015, when Bombardier pulled the plug on an all-new mannequin, the Learjet 85, citing weak demand. Analysts may see the top of the road.
“The one factor the pandemic did was speed up a tragic ending,” Aboulafia mentioned.
Bombardier mentioned it should proceed to assist the Learjet fleet, and present jets will fly for a lot of extra years.
Many of the projected job losses for Montreal-based Bombardier will happen in Canada, with about 700 deliberate in Quebec and 100 in Ontario. The corporate mentioned about 250 jobs shall be eradicated in Wichita this 12 months and subsequent 12 months, with one other 100 job losses scattered throughout the remainder of the U.S.
CEO Eric Martel mentioned in a press release that job cuts are all the time tough, “however these reductions are completely vital for us to rebuild our firm whereas we proceed to navigate by means of the pandemic.”
Air journey has plummeted throughout the COVID-19 outbreak, inflicting a pointy drop in demand for brand new planes.
Bombardier mentioned that ending manufacturing of the Learjet later this 12 months will let the corporate concentrate on its extra worthwhile Challenger and World plane and speed up the growth of its companies enterprise.
Koenig reported from Dallas.
Copyright 2021 The Related Press. All rights reserved. This materials is probably not revealed, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.