Bombardier intends to resume operations at its Toronto business jet factory April 27, ending a weeks-long shutdown prompted by the coronavirus pandemic measures. In an email exchange with Reuters, spokeswoman Anna Cristofaro said the company will bring back some workers on Monday to prepare the facilities for a full resumption of operations the following week. “Bombardier continues to take the necessary steps and precautions to safeguard the health of all its employees, and we remain in close contact with public health officials,” Cristofaro said. Bombardier builds the green aircraft at its Downsview facilities in Toronto but the interiors are finished in Montreal and it has ordered all non-essential businesses to remain closed until at least May 4.
Bombardier had just ramped up deliveries of its flagship Global 7500 platform and was in the first few months of deliveries of the smaller 5500 and 6500 variants when the plant was shut down in late March. Meanwhile, arch rival Gulfstream has continued production of its big business jets, which are direct competitors for Bombardier’s latest offerings. Textron had furloughed 7,000 workers because of coronavirus. Business jets will be Bombardier’s only business after it sold off all of its other divisions over the past couple of years and will finalize the sale of its rail division next year. The business jet division has been a steady moneymaker and has a $14 billion backlog but the economic issues resulting from the pandemic are likely to dampen sales for the immediate future.