Bombardier to assemble its new Global business jets at Toronto

MONTREAL — Bombardier Aerospace says its Toronto manufacturing site will be enlarged to accommodate the final assembly of its largest and newest business aircraft, the Global 7000 and 8000.

MONTREAL — Bombardier Aerospace says its Toronto manufacturing site will be enlarged to accommodate the final assembly of its largest and newest business aircraft, the Global 7000 and 8000.

“Our Toronto site employees have the knowledge and expertise required to assemble these two new business aircraft,” said Steve Ridolfi, president of business aircraft.

Local union president Merv Gray welcomed the announcement and the jobs that will be created in the country’s largest city. The world’s largest business aircraft company hasn’t yet determined how many jobs will created on top of the approximately 4,000 currently working at the Toronto facility.

“Our members take great pride in their work and are confident they will continue to contribute to Bombardier Aerospace’s long-term success,” said the plant chairman for Local 112 of the Canadian Auto Workers.

The plant has produced about 8,000 aircraft since 1928. It currently manufactures wings for the Learjet 40 and Learjet 45 corporate jets and assembles the Global 5000 and Global 6000 business jets, as well as the Q400 NextGen turboprop airliner.

Bombardier (TSX:BBD.B) plans to accommodate the additional work by upgrading and enhancing its current facility to accommodate the new production lines.

Construction would likely begin a couple years before the planes enter into service, in 2016 and 2017 respectively, said spokeswoman Danielle Boudreau.

New facilities are currently being constructed in Wichita, Kan., to accommodate the Learjet 85, which is scheduled to enter into service in 2013.

Boudreau wouldn’t say which other sites were considered for final assembly of the new Global planes.

Bombardier said it didn’t receive any government incentives to locate final assembly in Toronto.

The company is also determining where final completion of the aircraft will take place.

“They’re doing a full study on what’s the best option for us and for the program and for the customers,” Boudreau said in an interview.

The global completion centre in Montreal is currently being expanded to enlarge its customer delivery centre. The centre which puts the finishing touches on most of the costly global planes produced employs about 2,500 workers.

Bombardier has orders for 36 months of production of its Global family of aircraft, which it doesn’t singly out by model. That’s above its target range of 20 to 30 months.

The current Global models list for between US$49.1 million and US$57.5 million.

The new versions will sell for more than US$65 million at list, although planes are usually sold at discount.