All good things must come to an end. This statement holds true time and time again and the recent announcement from Bombardier concerning the Learjet line of aircraft has proven this statements validity. On February 11th, Bombardier announced that they would end the production of the Learjet line at the end of 2021.
Whether you love or hate the Learjet, there is one thing that is indisputable, the Learjet will forever be an iconic figure of corporate aviation. When the first Learjet hit the sky’s in 1963, its performance was unmatched. It was so impressive that radar technology of the time had a difficult time keeping up with the aircraft. In February of 1968, the Learjet set the time-to-climb record by ascending to 40,000 feet in just over 6 minutes. Over the past six decades, Learjet has grown into a household name. Beyond its performance, the Learjet has personified an elegant swagger that was the envy of other aircraft manufacturers. It is no accident that Learjet developed into a household name. Learjet was first, best, and expansive in terms of its 58 year tenure. Ask anyone outside of aviation to name a corporate jet and they will most likely echo “Learjet.” Although the future of production is finite, the support for Learjet will be long lasting and indefinite. So, where does Learjet go from here?
Just like all bright stars in our galaxy, Learjet will not simply vanish into a supernova. Rather, Learjet will maintain its household status for years to come. Soon after the announcement, the President and CEO of Bombardier issued a statement directed at dedicated Learjet owners and operators reaffirming their commitment to supporting Learjet. Not only did Bombardier offer continued support, they offered a commitment to a greater focus on growing their customer service offering. Just like a parent with a child in higher education, Bombardier will continue to be in the background providing support. As we look forward, it is important to remember that at some point all aircraft will face this same finale. No aircraft type is destined to last forever and very few will leave a 58 year legacy behind. Once the surprise of Bombardier’s announcement subsides and the fog clears, participants in corporate aviation will discover that the Learjet is going nowhere anytime soon. With over 3,000 Learjets produced and over 2,000 still in operation, the Learjet will continue to be in demand for years to come.
Human nature is naturally uncomfortable with the fear of the unknown. However, once the future is clear, this uncomfortable fear quickly takes the shape of opportunity.
The future of the Learjet will continue to be redefined by building upon its legacy. What other companies will fill the vacuum left by Bombardier? Although Bombardier has vowed continued support, others are sure to step up, not only to support the Learjet, but further its iconic status. In the near term, the Learjet will continue to provide reliable, safe, and efficient transport to the millions of customers just as it has in years past. In the long term, only time will tell, but rest assured the Learjet novel is far from its final chapter. The bedrock Learjet brand may have shifted slightly, but the newly formed mountain has yet to be climbed.
Those who know Ryan know his longtime passion for planes. As a matter of fact, Ryan soloed his first aircraft before receiving his driver’s license at age 16. Today, he holds multiple jet type ratings (LRJET, CL604 and B737) and is responsible for aircraft sales, brokerage, acquisitions, market analysis, data research and special projects. Ryan puts client needs first, always respecting time and understanding the importance of investments. Outside the world of aviation, Ryan enjoys spending time with his two children and heading out to the golf course as often as possible.
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