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Bombardier Will Stop Production of Learjet Line and Eliminate Jobs

Bombardier Inc. will stop production of Learjet business jets later this year and will eliminate 1,600 jobs.  This is part of cost cutting meant to stabilize the Canadian aircraft manufacturer that has been negatively impacted by the global pandemic.  The company now forecasts that it will employ only 13,000 people by the end of the year, down from 60,400 in 2019.

Based on a jet powered Swiss fighter bomber, the small, sleek and fast Learjet was the first successful business jet.  Developed by inventor Bill Lear, the first Learjet was built at a factory opened in January 1963 at Wichita Municipal Airport in Kansas.  The factory had a workforce of 75, who were able to produce the first prototype Learjet 23 in nine months.  The first production Learjet was delivered to a customer on October 14, 1964.  Over 3,000 Learjets of various models have now been delivered.

Bombardier purchased Learjet in 1990 planning to market it as a first jet for new buyers who would likely move up into larger Bombardier jets later.  It’s thought that the amount of competition in the entry level market may have impacted Bombardier’s decision to stop production.