Bombardier Inc. has finally joined the big leagues with its recent sale to Delta Air Lines Inc., signalling the “beginning of the end” of Boeing Co. and Airbus Group’s duopoly, according to Moody’s.
The global bond ratings agency said it won’t be easy for Bombardier to take market share away from Boeing and Airbus, but Delta’s order for 75 CSeries jets showed it’s finally in the running in the 100-plus-seat narrowbody market.
“It will take a good bit more time to fully develop, but the beginning of the end of the long-running Boeing/Airbus duopoly is upon us and the competitive dynamic is ratcheting up another notch,” Moody’s senior vice-president Russell Solomon said in a report published Tuesday.
Bombardier Inc only won Delta CSeries contract because of improper government subsidies: Embraer execBombardier Inc wins $5.6-billion Delta order in key boost to CSeries program
“Just the other week, Bombardier Inc. let everyone see just how serious it is about joining the two leading OEMs and Embraer SA in the big pool, even if only in the shallow end for now.”
Moody’s called the CSeries a “formidable product offering,” and said Boeing and Airbus don’t have much to offer in the 100- to 150-seat market where the CSeries competes.
Bombardier likely won the Delta order for three reasons, according to Solomon: aggressive pricing, early availability of the jets and technical superiority.
“The mere presence of the CSeries will have at least an indirect (if not a direct) impact on the competitive dynamic between the two industry titans, causing them to sharpen their pencils even more on strategic campaigns,” Solomon wrote.
However, Moody’s concluded that Boeing and Airbus will retain “the lion’s share” of the large commercial aircraft market, with emerging competitors like Bombardier able to capture “only a relatively modest low-single-digit share.”
Also Tuesday, Bombardier lowered its 10-year forecast for the private aviation market, where it competes with its Learjet, Challenger and Global aircraft.
The company said it now expects 8,300 new business jet deliveries between 2016 and 2025, valued at US$250 billion. This is slightly lower than its previous forecast of 9,000 deliveries valued at US$267 billion. Deliveries are expected to slump 10 per cent in 2016 as manufacturers adjust to lower demand.
Bombardier last year cut production of its Global 5000 and 6000 business jets in response to slowing demand from Latin America, Russia and China.
The company said Tuesday it expects North America to continue to dominate the business jet market over the next decade, with deliveries of 3,930 aircraft, followed by Europe, with 1,530 deliveries.
Despite the lower forecast, Bombardier said it remains confident in the longer-term health of the private aviation market.
“Significant growth is expected in the long term, with larger aircraft continuing to dominate the market,” the company said.
“As growth eventually returns in emerging regions, Bombardier is confident the business jet market will pick up as the popularity of private aviation continues to increase every year.”