Global 7500 fleet has amassed 100,000 hours since service entry in December 2018
Bombardier marked the delivery of its 150th Global 7500 ultra-long-range business jet on Monday at NBAA-BACE 2023. The aircraft was actually delivered to an undisclosed customer in September.
In addition, the Global 7500 fleet has amassed 100,000 hours since service entry in December 2018. The aircraft also set 20 speed/distance records to date, including a 8,225-nm October 2019 flight from Sydney, Australia, to Detroit, Michigan. Bombardier claims the Global 7500 has a dispatch reliability rate of 99.8 percent.
The 7500 features a “smooth flex wing” that reduces drag, fuel burn, and turbulence; a four-zone passenger cabin with the Lufthansa Nice Touch cabin management system, Nuage zero-gravity single executive seats, and Soleil cabin lighting designed with circadian rhythm-based technology to combat jet lag; a large galley; and dedicated crew suite.
A revised version of the aircraft announced in 2022, the Global 8000, remains under development and “on track” according to Bombardier, with plans for it to enter into service in the second half of 2025. The program’s lone test vehicle has flown 150 hours to date backed by 1,000 hours of ground rigging tests. The Global 8000’s top speed is Mach 0.94 thanks to a software change to its GE Passport engines.
The Global 8000
During flight testing in 2021, the aircraft exceeded Mach 1 in a shallow dive. Maximum range increases by 300 nm, to 8,000 nm, as a result of fuel storage optimization. The aircraft also adds advanced Hepa cabin air filtering. Overall aircraft dimensions are unchanged from the Global 7500, and 7500 operators will be able to upgrade their aircraft to Global 8000 configuration via service bulletin for a modification and calibration process that will take approximately one week, according to Bombardier.
Bombardier CEO Eric Martel said the company has more than 200 “order options” from large operators of Challenger and Global aircraft, with Global 7500 and Global 8000 models accounting for nearly half the total. He said the company “has set a solid foundation for its future,” adding that the company had no plans to sell any additional assets to pay down debt.
Bombardier disposed of its rail car, aerostructures, turboprop, and commuter jet divisions in recent years and is now a pure business jet player. “We’re on a nice path. We’ve been reducing the debt by more than half so far and still, you know, have a bit of work to do, but I think [we’re headed] in the right direction.”
Martel said the company was sticking with 2023 annual revenue guidance of $7.63 billion, up from $6.9 billion in 2022. Bombardier also paid down $1.1 billion of its outstanding debt, but still had $6 billion in long-term debt remaining at the end of last year. It lost $128 million from continuing operations in 2022. Moody’s currently rates Bombardier’s debt at B2 or stable. The company also has added 1,100 employees since the end of 2022 and its workforce currently stands at 17,000.
This week Bombardier also is showcasing its used aircraft resale program called Certified Pre-Owned (CPO) and discussing the Smart Services Elite enhanced product support program.
Paul Sislian, Bombardier executive v-p of aftermarket support and strategy, said aircraft that go through the CPO process on average sell for 10 percent above Blue Book value and sell 40 percent faster than those that do not. Bombardier will offer aircraft it has acquired on the aftermarket for the program and also will offer it for customer-owned Learjet, Challenger, and Global aircraft.
The CPO refurbishment program includes a full cabin upgrade with new soft goods, electronics, and connectivity. “The customer feels like he is walking into a new aircraft,” Sislian said. The process also includes all applicable service bulletin updating and a one-year warranty that includes corrosion coverage and Bombardier Smart Parts enrollment for the customer. “It’s full peace of mind,” Sislian said. A 10-year-old Challenger 300 that has been through the process is on static display this week at NBAA-BACE.
Sislian called Bombardier’s new Smart Services Elite maintenance plan “the most comprehensive cost per hour program on the market bar none” that consolidates the current Smart Services program into a single offering with a single invoice that “eliminates all the confusion” of menu-driven plans. “We’ve made the program easy.”