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The Covid-19 pandemic continued to take its toll on Bombardier as deliveries fell seven units to a total of 24 in the third quarter. The company further has taken roughly a $2.25 billion hit on liquidity, putting it in a position to be $4.5 billion in debt after it sheds its remaining non-business aviation activities.

Releasing the airframer’s third-quarter results this morning, Bombardier president and CEO Eric Martel noted the “broad and deep impact on the global economy and in our industry,” but said he sees stabilization for now with more encouraging signs long-term.

On the positive side, Bombardier’s business aircraft revenues climbed 10 percent in the most recent three months to $1.225 billion, thanks to the delivery of eight Global 7500s. That delivery number is anticipated to grow some 50 percent to about 12 in the fourth quarter, positioning the business aviation unit for further revenue expansion and near break-even on cash flow.

In the third quarter, Bombardier delivered 13 Globals, up from nine a year ago. But the nine-month tally of 31 Global deliveries lagged the 33 handed over in the first nine months of 2019. 

Also, the nine Challenger deliveries were down by nearly half of the 17 handed over in third-quarter 2019. For the year so far, 32 Challengers have been delivered, compared with 48 in the same period last year. Martel, however, noted that Challenger sales activity strengthened in the third quarter.

Just two Learjets were delivered in the third quarter, down from five a year ago. Seven have been delivered through the first three quarters of the year, compared with nine a year ago. In total, Bombardier delivered 70 aircraft through the first three quarters, a 20-aircraft delta from a year earlier.

Martel said Bombardier would remain at the lower delivery totals into the next year, predicting between 100 and 120 business jet shipments next year. This compares with the 142 handed over in 2019.

The Global 7500 will account for a significant chunk of next year’s totals, with Martel estimating about 35 would be delivered as Bombardier works through a backlog that still stretches nearly two years.