Dec 3 Canadian planemaker Bombardier Inc
said on Tuesday that it replaced the head salesman for
the slow-selling CSeries aircraft with an executive from its
business jet division.
Bombardier said it was promoting Raymond Jones immediately
to senior vice president of sales for commercial aircraft,
replacing Chet Fuller, who will leave at year's end to pursue
"Clearly the (CSeries) sales have been pretty weak, so at
some point you've got to try something different," said Neil
Dihora, a Morningstar Inc analyst.
"They've got pretty awesome orders in the business jet side
of the world, so let's see if he (Jones) can crack the nut on
the commercial airline space."
Jones, a certified commercial pilot who spent 16 years in
the U.K. Royal Air Force, has been selling Bombardier's business
jets for the past decade. His international background and track
record, notably with large fleet operators, will help open new
markets, Bombardier said.
He replaces Fuller, a former U.S. Navy pilot and president
at GE Aviation, who joined Bombardier in late 2010 to head
commercial plane sales and marketing. The unit includes the
CSeries along with turboprops and regional jets.
The CSeries, a $3.4 billion development program that brings
Bombardier into competition with the lower-capacity planes built
by industry giants Boeing Co and Airbus, has
suffered from a lack of demand. Its last firm order was
announced in June.
Bombardier has secured 177 firm orders for the mid-range
jet, but says it will reach 300 by the time the first plane is
put into commercial use.
The target date for entry into service is September 2014,
but analysts are increasingly skeptical that Bombardier can meet
an extremely aggressive 12-month testing schedule.
The company is expected to announce a further delay after
saying in October that it was "evaluating the schedule" and
would update the market in next few months. If this happens, it
would mark the fourth delay and push the schedule more than nine
months beyond initial estimates.
Shares of Bombardier fell 7 Canadian cents, or 1.5 percent,
to C$4.72 on the Toronto Stock Exchange after the announcement
on Tuesday. The stock, which traded above C$26 in late 2000, has
dropped some 16 percent in the last year amid program delays.