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Analyst predicts Bombardier’s sales drought will end

Nov. 9, 2011, Montreal - Bombardier's order drought for regional planes and the larger CSeries is about to end, with several airlines likely placing orders in the coming weeks, says an industry analyst.


November 9, 2011
By The Canadian Press

Cameron Doerksen of National Bank Financial said the Montreal-based manufacturer potentially has positive news on the horizon as several sales campaigns are likely to bear fruit.

"We believe that orders for Bombardier regional aircraft, particularly the Q400 turboprop, are about to pick up materially in the coming months," he wrote in a report.

The first orders could be announced next week at the Dubai Air Show.

Indonesia's Garuda Airlines is expected to announce an 18-plane regional jet order and Doerksen said Bombardier's CRJ1000 has "an even chance of winning."

Q400 turboprop demand could also take off, with SkyWest's fleet replacement presenting a major opportunity.

SkyWest operates a fleet of more than 500, 50-seat regional jets, many of which are expected to be replaced by larger regional jets and turboprops.

Doerksen said a string of new orders for regional aircraft should boost investor confidence in Bombardier's aerospace segment.

The company's shares have plummeted more than 40 per cent since hitting a 52-week high of $7.29 in March, closing Tuesday at  $4.31 on the Toronto Stock Exchange.

A shortage of regional aircraft orders has forced Bombardier to cut back production rates for both the CRJ and Q400 planes.

Bombardier is the world's third-largest civil aircraft manufacturer, focused on business and regional aircraft. It is also the world's largest railway manufacturer.