Bombardier Pulls Plug on Learjet, Cuts 1,600 Jobs

Author:  Roxana Hegeman and David Koenig
Source:  The Shot Peener magazine, Vol 35, Issue 2, Spring 2021
Doc ID:  2021018
Year of Publication:  2021
WICHITA, Kansas (AP) — Canada’s Bombardier announced in February that it will stop production of the Learjet later this year to focus on more profitable planes. That means the elimination of 1,600 jobs in Canada and the United States, another blow to aircraft manufacturing, which has withered in the pandemic. The iconic jet was among the first private luxury planes. William Lear based his design in part on military jets. The first Learjet flew in 1963, and more than 3,000 had been built since. “It was sleek and it had almost a fighter-jet pedigree,” said Richard Aboulafia, an aerospace analyst for Teal Group. “For its time it symbolized personal executive transportation. Besides, Carly Simon put it into a fantastic song — that cemented its place in popular culture.” Along with being a line in Simon’s 1971 hit, “You’re So Vain,” the jet showed up elsewhere in pop culture, including the hit TV show “Mad Men.” Frank Sinatra let Elvis Presley borrow his Learjet to elope with Priscilla Beaulieu in 1967.

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