First 787-9 in Factory at Final Body Join K65906-04. Circa 2017. Photo: Boeing

WASHINGTON, D.C. — While the last three years at Bombardier Aerospace have been “challenging,” the Canadian jet manufacturer is now in a position to consider its next project, said President and CEO Alain Bellemare at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s Aviation Summit yesterday.

“I’m not sure if that will be commercial or business aviation, but we will look at how to develop and spend on those programs moving forward,” he said.

Bombardier’s plate is full, with $16 billion in business today. “Our story is shifting as we are becoming a growth business. By 2020, our target is to be a $25 billion business,” he said. “We have a solid portfolio, with the Global 7000 [business jet] entering service in 2019 and the CSeries ramp-up,” said Bellemare.

“When I came on, we created a five-year plan. We’re done with the first phase and are moving on to the second phase,” said Bellemare. “Because we have more liquidity, we’ve made huge progress with our vital programs. Both models of the CSeries are in service at SWISS and airBaltic in one of the smoothest entries into service I’ve ever seen, and we’re building models for Delta and Air Canada.”

“It’s an exciting time to think about what we’re going to do next,” Bellemare said.

According to Dennis Muilenburg, chairman, president and CEO of Boeing, the aerospace market is the healthiest it’s ever been. “It’s a key driver that contributes to a $7.5 trillion marketplace around the world. Our airline customers are healthy and it’s the same with defense,” he said.

Last month, Muilenburg hosted President Donald Trump at Boeing’s 787 Dreamliner plant outside of Charleston, S.C., for the rollout of the 787-10. He’s also on the president’s advisory panel on manufacturing.

“We had him tour our production line for a few hours, and he had lots of questions about the plane. He seemed to have a real affinity for airplanes and he spoke with workers participating in the rollout,” said Muilenburg. “He was very much engaged, and it’s good to see that business has a voice at the table.”

Trump flew a Boeing 757 and loved that aircraft, said Muilenburg. “We’re talking about the new Air Force One, including how to streamline certification for a better plane at a lower cost.”

“We’re engaged in all dimensions of the business. We’re in the process of building the first rocket that will take people to Mars. Testing will begin next year,” Muilenburg said.

“The first person to Mars will arrive on Boeing rocket. This shows that innovation in defense and aerospace is very strong.”