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Bombardier gets first Canadian order for business jet

Oct. 21, 2010, Montreal - A business jet charter company based near Vancouver has placed the first Canadian order for Bombardier's new long-range Global Express aircraft.


October 21, 2010
By The Canadian Press

London Air Services of Richmond, B.C., ordered one Global 7000, Bombardier said in a news release on Thursday.

The US$65-million aircraft is slated to begin deliveries in 2016.

London Air Services CEO Wynne Powell said the new plane's larger cabin space and non-stop reach will be a valuable addition to its fleet, which includes Challenger and Learjet 45s.

The company has a history of being the first Canadian customer for various Bombardier products, including the new composite Learjet 85 and Challenger 605.

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Bombardier spokeswoman Danielle Boudreau said it has received other orders outside Canada for the new Global planes that it has not announced. She wouldn't say how many orders have been received.

Bombardier announced last Saturday that it was proceeding with the development of the planes at a cost of more than US$1 billion. One analyst suggested the total could be as much as US$1.6 billion.

Steve Ridolfi, president of Bombardier Business Aircraft, said the London Air order extends a longstanding relationship between the companies.

"I am thrilled that our partnership with London Air Services continues to grow and prosper, and that we both agree that the new Global aircraft family is the way forward.''

Meanwhile, the Montreal-based company announced Thursday that it's offering to redeem any or all of two separate series of outstanding notes.

It will pay for the transaction by issuing about $1 billion of new notes, denominated in euros, that will expire in 2021.

One of the outstanding series to be redeemed has euro482.4 billion of principal outstanding and pays interest at a floating rate.

The other has US$385 million of principal outstanding and pays eight per cent interest annually.

Bombardier said it's willing to pay a premium for debtholders who tender to the offer before Nov. 4. The two offers are set to expire about two weeks later on Nov. 19.

In the case of the floating-rate notes due 2013, Bombardier will pay up to euro1.001.25 per thousand euros of principle, if redeemed by the early date.

For the eight per cent notes maturing in 2014, Bombardier will pay up to US$1,042.50 per thousand dollars of principle redeemed by the early date.

Bombardier also said it has completed the construction of facilities in Belfast and Mexico that will build sections of its new CSeries commercial aircraft and Learjet 85 business jet, which are both slated to be delivered in 2013.

The new 55,740 square metre facility in Northern Ireland will house the manufacture and assembly of the advanced composite wings for the plane.

On Thursday, Mexico's president helped to inaugurate a plant to manufacture the composite fuselage and wing assembly. The Queretaro plant was completed in July.

Established in 2006, the Mexican facilities now employ more than 1,200 workers and manufacture components for various business and commercial aircraft.