Irish Government finalizes acquisition of Bombardier Learjet 45

Acquisition reflects growing government preference for Bombardier business jets

Bombardier Aerospace has finalized the sale of a new Bombardier Learjet* 45 light business jet to the Irish Government.

The Irish Minister for Defence Mr. Michael Smith and Bombardier Aerospace officially finalized the transaction today during a brief ceremony held in Dublin. The aircraft, designed for eight passengers, is scheduled for delivery in December 2003 in preparation for Ireland’s assumption of the European Union (EU) Presidency in January 2004. It will be based at Casement Aerodrome, Baldonnel near Dublin, from where it will offer nonstop service throughout Europe including such cities as Brussels, Athens and Budapest.

Its primary mission is to provide national and regional nonstop service for government personnel but the aircraft will also be equipped to conduct air ambulance missions.

“The Learjet 45 has been adjudged the winner of my Department’s tender evaluation process on both technical and economic criteria” said Minister Smith at today’s signing ceremony. “Its purchase will allow the Government to operate more effectively during our term in the EU Presidency and into the future.”

Growing north-south trade

The decision was also welcomed by Michael Ryan, vice president and general manager of Bombardier’s Belfast plant where fuselages for Bombardier Learjet 45 aircraft are designed and manufactured.

“Not only is this purchase by the Irish Government an excellent example of north-south trade, it also encourages the efforts we have been making to develop further the aerospace supply base within the island,” stated Mr. Ryan. When the aircraft enters Government service it will provide an excellent opportunity to promote Ireland’s technological expertise to the world.”

“The Government of Ireland’s decision to select the Bombardier Learjet 45 underlines its outstanding performance capabilities and comfortable cabin, two attributes that have fueled its popularity and make it particularly well suited for government and corporate transport,” stated Peter Edwards, president, Bombardier Business Aircraft, who was present in Dublin for the event.

Since entering service in 1998, the Bombardier Learjet 45 has emerged as one of the top-selling business aircraft in its class and has set new standards in comfort, performance and value. Designed from a clean sheet of paper, the aircraft was the first business jet to receive type certification from the European Joint Aviation Authorities (JAA).

As with all Bombardier Learjet aircraft, the Learjet 45 delivers unparalleled performance. Certified to operate at altitudes of up to 51,000 feet (15,545 m), it travels above traffic and weather at cruise speeds of up to Mach 0.81(534 mph; 859 km/hr) to get passengers to their point of business faster. It has a maximum range of 2,098 nautical miles (3,893 km) with four passengers, two crew, and IFR reserves.

A total of 222 Bombardier Learjet 45 aircraft have been delivered worldwide. The aircraft’s best-in-class attributes have made it a popular business jet among government operators who are increasingly recognizing its value as an effective business tool.

Governments in Europe and elsewhere in the world are also demonstrating a clear preference for Bombardier business jets when selecting aircraft for their transportation needs. Bombardier business aircraft are currently in service with numerous governments worldwide, including Germany, Denmark, Canada, South Korea, Japan, Switzerland, Brazil, the United States, Australia and Malaysia.

Bombardier Aerospace, a unit of Bombardier Inc., is a world leader in the design and manufacture of innovative aviation products and provides services for the regional, business and amphibious aircraft markets. It also offers Bombardier Flexjet* and Bombardier Skyjet* business aircraft programs, technical services, and aircraft maintenance and pilot training for business, regional airline and military customers.

Bombardier Inc., a diversified manufacturing and services company, is a world-leading manufacturer of business jets, regional aircraft, rail transportation equipment and motorized recreational products. It also provides financial services and asset management in business areas aligned with its core expertise. Headquartered in Montréal, Canada, the Corporation has a workforce of some 75,000 people and manufacturing facilities in 25 countries throughout the Americas, Europe and Asia-Pacific. Its revenues for the fiscal year ended Jan. 31, 2003 stood at $23.7 billion Cdn. Bombardier shares are traded on the Toronto, Brussels and Frankfurt stock exchanges (BBD, BOM and BBDd.F).

* Trademarks of Bombardier Inc. or its subsidiaries

Alec McRitchie
Bombardier Aerospace
Northern Ireland :
011 44 2890 733514

Leo Knaapen
Bombardier Aerospace
Montréal: (514) 855-7988