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Learjet Will End Production This Year


The Learjet luxury aircraft made famous by Frank Sinatra and immortalized in songs by Pink Floyd and Carly Simon is going away.

Bombardier, the Canadian company that makes the plane, said Thursday that it would stop building the plane at the end of the year — more than half-a-century after it was introduced — as it shifts attention to its more profitable and larger Challenger and Global aircraft. The move comes after Bombardier exited the business of making planes for airlines last year and completed the sale of its rail unit last month, all part of an effort to return to profitability with a more singular focus on private aircraft.

“With our strategic repositioning now complete, we are very excited to embark on our journey as a pure-play business jet company,” Éric Martel, Bombardier’s chief executive, said in a statement.

The company also announced plans to cut 1,600 jobs, or about 10 percent of its work force. Bombardier said Thursday that it lost $568 million last year and hoped to cut costs by more than $400 million by 2023.

The Learjet decision comes just months after the company announced the first delivery of the plane’s latest model, the Learjet 75 Liberty.

The jet was originally designed with a focus on performance by William Lear, an engineer. It entered service in 1963 and went on to play a key role in ushering in an era of luxury private flight. Mr. Sinatra reportedly bought his in 1965, using it for trips to and from Las Vegas and making it a symbol of ultimate luxury for the rich and powerful.

More than 3,000 Learjets have been sold since its inception. But the jet has struggled in recent years because buyers of private jets considered it cramped and not as luxurious as other planes. Bombardier, which acquired the Learjet business in 1990, delivered just 11 to customers last year.


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