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Capital: Tell us about Bombardier?
Mr. Eric Martel: Bombardier is the world’s only manufacturer of both planes and trains. Looking far ahead while delivering today, Bombardier is evolving mobility worldwide by answering the call for more efficient, sustainable and enjoyable transportation everywhere. Our vehicles, services and, most of all, our employees are what make us a global leader in transportation. Bombardier is headquartered in Montréal, Canada. Our shares are traded on the Toronto Stock Exchange (BBD) and we are listed on the Dow Jones Sustainability World and North America indexes. In the fiscal year ended December 31, 2011, we posted revenues of USD 18.3 billion.
Capital: What type of airplanes is Bombardier currently selling to Ethiopian Airlines? How many of them have currently been delivered to Ethiopian and how many are in the process of being delivered?
Martel: In February, Ethiopian Airlines placed a firm order for five Q400 NextGen aircraft (including three to be operated by its affiliate ASKY Airlines of Togo), increasing the number of Q400 NextGen aircraft to be ordered by the airline to 13. As previously noted by Ethiopian Airlines, deliveries will commence in the latter half of 2012.
Capital: How much is it the total contract for the supply of Bombardier planes and are there new offers in the pipeline?
Martel: As Bombardier announced in February, based on the list price of the Q400 NextGen airliner, the Ethiopian Airlines firm order for five Q400 NextGen aircraft is valued at approximately USD 160 million.  We recently had the pleasure of hosting a delegation from Ethiopian Airlines at the Bombardier Aerospace facility in Toronto where the Q400 NextGen Turboprop is assembled.  Included in the July 18, 2012  visit were: Tewolde Gebremariam Tesfay, Chief Executive Officer, Ethiopian Airlines; Mesfin Lema, Board Member of Ethiopian Airlines; Maj. Gen. Molla Hailemariam, Board Member of Ethiopian Airlines; H.E. Diriba Kuma, Minister of Transport, Ethiopia; and H.E. Ambassador Michèle Lévesque, Canadian Ambassador to Ethiopia. This was a great opportunity to further review Ethiopian Airlines’ fleet requirements. Specific discussions on new commercial aircraft orders are confidential and we will not comment further.
Capital: Recently there were reports that Bombardier was going to demonstrate its new product C series aircraft to Ethiopian. Do you have plans to sell these airplanes to Ethiopian?
Martel: As we mentioned earlier, discussions on new aircraft orders are confidential. What we can say is that all-new CSeries aircraft is the only 100 percent newly-designed aircraft that is optimized for the longer-range, single-aisle, 100- to 149-seat segment of the commercial aircraft market.
Capital: Are you in negotiations to supply your products to other air operators in the country?
Martel: Trans Nation Airways (previously called Midroc Aviation), an Ethiopian chartered aircraft company, operates two Bombardier Q200 aircraft. Bombardier recognizes that there are a number of additional opportunities to place Q400, CRJ and CSeries aircraft in Africa.
Capital: Could you elaborate on the global market for your products and what kinds of airplanes and other related products you have sold and what is the volume of sales?
Martel: Demonstrating the growing importance of emerging markets, Bombardier Commercial Aircraft has recently opened or expanded several offices outside Canada (Munich, Sydney, Singapore, Shanghai, Dubai and Dallas) and has nearly doubled its sales and marketing team outside Canada in 2012. This global expansion strategy has aided in a number of recent orders and new operators in emerging markets, such as RwandAir in Rwanda, SpiceJet in India, Garuda Indonesia in Indonesia, China Express in China, and Eurolot in Poland.
The Bombardier Commercial Aircraft family consists of the CSeries single-aisle aircraft, the CRJ NextGen regional jets and the Q400 NextGen turboprop aircraft. Spanning the 60-149 seat segment of the commercial aircraft market, these jet and turboprop aircraft deliver outstanding performance, fuel efficiency, passenger comfort and minimal operating costs. The CSeries aircraft, scheduled to enter service in late 2013, offers more comfort, fuel efficiency, and unsurpassed economics for the 100-149 seat class. The CRJ Series is the most successful commercial regional jet program in history. The CRJ NextGen family of aircraft is the benchmark for regional jet efficiency in the 60-99 seat segment, offering lowest operating costs, reduced environmental impact and enhanced cabin interiors. The Q400 NextGen aircraft is one of the most technologically advanced regional aircraft in the world. It has an enhanced cabin, lowest operating costs, low fuel burn and low emissions – providing an ideal balance of passenger comfort and operating economics, with a reduced environmental scorecard. Bombardier Business Aircraft offers jets in eight out of nine segments from the light to ultra-long range categories and for the first quarter of 2012 booked orders for 40 aircraft.  It is the market leader and the world’s largest business aircraft manufacturer. While we don’t go into specifics regarding sales and their locations, the quarterly General Aviation Manufacturers Association’s report shows that for Q1 2012 Bombardier led the business aviation industry in terms of unit deliveries for those segments in which it competes with 29 aircraft delivered and USD 819 million in revenues giving Bombardier 28.2pct and 29.1pct market share respectively. Bombardier expects to deliver approximately 180 business jets in 2012.
Capital: What is your sales volume in Africa? Tell us about the climate of the African market.
Martel: Africa is forecast to take delivery of 550 new commercial aircraft in the 20- to 149-seat segment over the 20 year period from 2012 to 2031, according to the Bombardier Commercial Aircraft Market Forecast. Most of the growth is expected in the 100- to 149-seat segment of the market, with the remainder in the 60- to 99-seat segment.  In Africa, the development of aviation infrastructure has focused on a comparatively small number of showcase international hub airports, rather than secondary or tertiary destinations that would help build domestic and regional air travel networks and make air travel accessible to more of the population. This pattern of surface-focused development is prevalent across Africa’s many countries and in many other essential industries, such as telecommunications, which vary widely between regions and countries and often lags in less developed areas.
More than 200 Bombardier CRJ Series regional jets and Dash 8/Q-Series turboprops – including some 42 Q400 aircraft – are already operating, or are on order, in Africa and the Middle East where they have been deployed in a variety of markets. The Q400 and Q400 NextGen aircraft have been gaining headway in Africa, where Ethiopian Airlines and ten other operators now have more than 40 of these aircraft in service or on firm order. The CSeries aircraft, CRJ family of aircraft and the Q400 NextGen aircraft are all available in Africa. The entire fleet of Bombardier business jets are available to African customers, the lineup includes 11 aircraft – Learjet 60 XR, Learjet 70, Learjet 75, Learjet 85, Challenger 300, Challenger 605, Challenger 850, Global 5000, Global 6000, Global 7000 and Global 8000 jets spanning 8 market segments. Bombardier Business Aircraft’s 20-year Market Forecast predicts that, over the next 20-years, African demand for business jets will account for 810 deliveries of new aircraft. With the deliveries being scaled over the period as such: For the ten year period from 2012-2021: 325 aircraft, and the period for 2022-2031: 485 aircraft. Bombardier’s Global family of jets is the market leader in their segment with a market share of 43pct.
Capital: One of the issues facing the global aviation industry is the cost of jet fuel. What is Bombardier doing in terms of producing aircrafts that are fuel efficient while giving your clients the maximum satisfaction in terms of services?
Martel: The 70- to 80-seat Q400 NextGen aircraft, for example, uses 30pct to 40pct less fuel and produces 30pct to 40pct fewer emissions on routes where it has replaced similar-capacity, older-generation jets and offers trip costs similar to 50-seat jet aircraft. The all-new CSeries aircraft is up to 12,000 pound lighter than competition, which is expected to result in a greater than 20pct fuel burn advantage versus in-production aircraft (comparison on per seat basis), and a greater than 50pct fuel burn advantage versus out-of-production aircraft (comparison on per seat basis).The CRJ1000 NextGen regional jet has been achieving a mission fuel consumption rate that is four percent better than estimated. The additional savings in fuel burn results in an average annual savings of approximately USD 220,000 per aircraft. Q400 Biofuel Benefits Alaska Airlines as they inaugurated biofuel-powered passenger service in a Horizon Air Q400 in November, 2011 in a series of test flights between Seattle and Portland, Oregon. Fueled by a blend of sustainable biofuel made from used cooking oil, the flights demonstrate an aviation future of reduced emissions. On April 17, 2012, Porter Airlines operated the first biofuel-powered revenue flight in Canada using one of its Q400 turboprop aircraft. The flight from Toronto to Ottawa brought to conclusion the biofuel project first launched by a consortium of partners led by Bombardier, Pratt and Whitney Canada, Targeted Growth (TG) and Porter Airlines in July 2010 at the Farnborough Airshow. The Q400 aircraft was powered by a 50/50 blend of bio-derived fuel in one wing and regular Jet A1 fuel in the other wing. Renewable fuel from cooking oil offers a real opportunity to reduce the environmental impact of commercial aviation by significantly reducing carbon lifecycle emissions.
Capital: What new airplanes or related products shall we expect in the immediate future from Bombardier?
Martel: The CSeries aircraft, scheduled to enter service in later 2013, is the only 100 percent newly-designed aircraft that is optimized for the longer-range, single-aisle, 100- to 149-seat market. The CSeries family of aircraft delivers the lowest operating costs in its class, a significant fuel burn advantage, exceptional operational flexibility, wide body comfort and an unmatched environmental scorecard. Bombardier has five aircraft in various stages of development and all feature the Vision Flight Deck. 2013 will be a big year for Learjet as it sees the scheduled introduction of the Learjet 70, Learjet 75 and Learjet 85 jets which span the light category for the ultra-long range segment Bombardier is developing the Global 7000 and Global 8000 jets which are scheduled to enter service in 2016 and 2017 respectively.