Bombardier’s transformation to a builder of large business jets was completed last week when the company delivered its last Learjet 75. Bombardier has owned the iconic brand for more than 20 years but Lear was a victim of the parent company’s success. Although revered among devotees, the sleek and fast Learjets lacked the cabin room and creature comforts that many who can afford a private jet now demand. There has also been increasing competition from other companies that have brought new designs forth in the last 20 years.
“There’s no doubt that today is an emotional day for many of us as it marks the end of the production era of Learjet,” said Tonya Sudduth, vice president of Learjet operations. “However, the emotion that I’ve seen most prominent in all of my conversations with [employees] over the past several days and months is pride. Pride for being part of this amazing legacy. And pride in making a lasting mark on aviation history.” Many of the factory workers will get jobs in the service centre that will maintain the 2,000 Learjets still flying.