Bombardier cutting 2,500 jobs as business jet demand falls
MONTREAL — Bombardier Inc. will cut 2,500 workers from its plane-making division as demand for the company’s main source of income — private jets — falls amid a recession and feeble travel demand.
The cuts will see 1,500 layoffs in Quebec and 400 in Ontario, as well as 500 in Mexico, 40 in the United States and about 60 outside North America, according to a Bombardier spokesman. Half of the cuts will be completed by the end of the month, with the second half occurring throughout 2020.
The announcement Friday comes less than three months after Eric Martel took over as CEO from Alain Bellemare, under whose watch the plane-and-train maker moved to sell its commercial aircraft and rail divisions to prop up a balance sheet weighed down with billions in debt.
The indefinite layoffs also come barely three weeks after thousands of furloughed Bombardier employees began to return to work, resuming production at factories shuttered due to coronavirus confinement measures.
Aviation division president David Coleal said “that if the market improves, we will assess measures to reintegrate our colleagues,” according to an internal memo obtained by The Canadian Press.
“It is very unfortunate to have to resort to these reductions. However, we have reached the limits of our ability to maintain employment levels from before the COVID-19 crisis,” Coleal said.
In a statement Friday, Bombardier stressed the “extraordinary industry interruptions and challenges” caused by the pandemic, which have set off a forecasted 30 per cent year-over-year decline in business jet deliveries industry-wide.