Learjet, a name synonymous, with affluent air travel since the 1950's, makes a new face under parentt company Bombardier (T.BBD.A, StockForum) and inks deal with Flexjet for 115 aircraft with options for 160 more. The deal, if all options are exercised using today's retail pricing, could gross Learjet and Bombardier US$5.6 billion. Of course, company executives are excited with the September 5th announcement, but with Flexjet's firming of 30 more orders, Steve Ridolfi, Bombardier Aircraft president, was effusive, “We're very proud to see Flexjet, LLC placing their trust in our new Learjet 85 aircraft. This endorsement is a tremendous vote of confidence.... It's definitely a great way to celebrate Learjet's 50th anniversary.”
The new advanced Learjet 70, 75 and 85 model programs are ready and in place at Learjet's Wichita, Kansas facility. Learjet plans to build on their legacy with the 70/75 series by offering passengers 2,000 nautical mile range limits and providing pilots with an increased level of control and comfort. The Learjet 85 is to be the flagship of this new fleet and will be the largest, fastest and most capable aircraft the company has ever put on the market. The 85 is powered by twin Pratt&Whitney engines with 6,100 lbs of take off thrust that are capable of cruising at a healthy Mach 0.82. The added performance doesn't negate environmental concerns as the craft, which can take passengers roughly 3,000 nautical miles, is governed by a low Nox emission system for reduced impact.
Flexjet and all of its partners are confident that the 85 additions are necessary as Kenn Ricci, Principal, Directional Aviation Capital explains, “Learjet aircraft is without a doubt an iconic product. Significant customer demand has convinced us that increasing the size of the Learjet 85 fleet is not only necessary, but will give us a significant product advantage. With a modern interior, range capability and speed, the Learjet 85 will support our discerning clients and leave us uniquely positioned for our future needs." Flexjet, Bombardier and Learjet all look forward to the fleets' first flights estimated to happen by the end of this year.
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