Bombardier Lays Off 1,700 Employees

Cuts needed to stay on budget as major certification programs are delayed.

Bombardier CSeries Cuts

Bombardier CSeries Cuts

** Bombardier CSeries**

While Bombardier finished up 2013 with good news, announcing the certification of the Learjet 70 and 75, the Montreal company has chosen to eliminate 1,700 jobs to reduce expenses because of a combination of delays in the CSeries and Learjet 85 programs. The CSeries has now been delayed for another year, with introduction into service expected in 2015. The Learjet 85 is expected to achieve certification later this year.

Despite the tough announcement, Bombardier's president and CEO Pierre Beaudoin presented a positive outlook in interviews with several news outlets in Davos, Switzerland, this week, where the World Economic Forum is taking place. "I think when we present our numbers in mid-February, you will see that we are in good shape to complete the program," Beaudoin said in an interview with Reuters, referring to the $3.9 billion CSeries program.

According to Reuters, Bombardier told its employees the cuts were needed for the company to stay on budget for 2014. The cuts will affect engineering, manufacturing, sales and support staff in Canada and the United States.

Bombardier has added 5,000 employees worldwide since 2008 and, prior to the layoffs, the company was up to around 75,000 employees, of which the aerospace division accounts for more than 38,000.

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