Bombardier history

Throughout its history, Bombardier has consistently responded to challenges and opportunities with tireless innovation, daring creativity and an entrepreneurial spirit. Our proven ability to absorb, improve and generate new technologies, processes and management philosophies has fuelled our competitiveness and growth.

  • 1976 Bombardier acquires new rail technologies

    Bombardier purchases a majority stake in MLW WorthingtonLtd., a locomotive and diesel engine manufacturer in Montreal; This adds the LRC (Light Rapid Comfortable) technology to Bombardier’s range of rail transit equipment.

  • 1974 Venturing into Mass Transit

    The 1973 oil crisis forces Bombardier to halve its snowmobile production. Laurent Beaudoin and his management team respond by redeploying the company’s excess manufacturing capacity. They acquire mass transit technologies and apply Bombardier’s manufacturing know-how to build rolling stock.

    In 1974, Bombardier wins its first mass transit contract to manufacture 423 cars for the city of Montréal’s subway system.


  • 1970 Entry into the railway business

    As its first acquisition outside of Canada Bombardier buys Lohnerwerke in Vienna, Austria, a manufacturer of motor scooters and trams, and its subsidiary, the engine manufacturer ROTAX. This marks Bombardier’s entry into the railway business.

  • 1989 Moving into European Aerospace

    Bombardier acquires Short Brothers plc, the pioneering aviation manufacturer based in Northern Ireland. With this acquisition, Bombardier reinforces its aerospace capabilities and establishes a European presence in the industry.

  • 1989 The CRJ makes its debut

    Regional air travel is revolutionized when Bombardier launches the 50-seat Canadair Regional Jet (CRJ) program. The aircraft makes its first flight in 1991 and is awarded Canadian type certification in 1992.

    The CRJ program is later expanded with the launch of the 70-seat CRJ700 in 1997, the 86-seat CRJ900 in 2000 and the 100-seat CRJ1000 in 2007. Also in 2007, the next generation versions of these aircraft are introduced: the CRJ NetGen. Today, the CRJ Series family of aircraft is the world’s most successful regional aircraft program.


  • 1989 Bombardier enters French market

    In 1989, Bombardier acquires ANF-Industrie, France's second largest manufacturer of railway equipment.

  • 1988 Sea-Doo Personal Watercraft Launch

    The launch of the Sea-Doo watercraft boosts Bombardier’s share of the recreational consumer goods market. 

  • 1986 Taking to the Skies

    Twenty years after diversifying into rail transportation, Bombardier takes flight in the aerospace sector. It purchases Canadair, the leading Canadian aircraft manufacturer of Challenger widebody business jets and the CL-215 amphibious firefighting aircraft.

    Shortly after completing the acquisition, the go-ahead is given in early 1987 to develop the turboprop version of the CL-215, called the CL-215T.


  • 1986 Bombardier expands in Europe

    In 1986, Bombardier expands in Europe, the world’s largest rail equipment and services market, acquiring a 45% interest in the Belgian manufacturer BN Constructions Ferroviaires et Métalliques S.A.

  • 1982 Leadership in Rail Transportation

    A breakthrough $1 billion US contract to supply 825 subway cars for the New York City Transit Authority positions Bombardier as the North American leader in rail transit.

  • 2018 Bombardier grows its Global family of aircraft

    Bombardier Business Aircraft announces the addition of the Global 5500 and Global 6500 aircraft to its successful Global family.

  • 2017 Airbus and Bombardier C Series Partnership

    Bombardier announced the partnership with Airbus on the C Series aircraft programme.

    The agreement brings together Airbus’ global reach and scale with Bombardier’s newest, state-of-the-art jet aircraft family, positioning both partners to fully unlock the value of the C Series platform and create significant new value for customers, suppliers, employees and shareholders.

  • 2016 Delivery of First CS300 Aircraft to airBaltic

    Delivery of the first CS300 aircraft to launch operator Air Baltic Corporation AS (airBaltic), the flag carrier of Latvia.

  • 2016 Global 7000 Aircraft Successfully Completes First Flight

    Bombardier Global 7000 aircraft program completed the successful maiden flight of its first flight test vehicle (FTV1). 

  • 2016 Delivery of the First C Series Aircraft to Launch Operator SWISS

    Bombardier celebrates the delivery of the first C Series aircraft to launch operator Swiss International Air Lines (“SWISS”) .

  • 2016 Sale of Amphibious Aircraft Program to Viking Air Limited

    Sale of the Amphibious Aircraft program to British Columbia-based Viking Air Limited.

  • 2016 Bombardier Signs Largest C Series order for up to 125 Aircraft

    Delta orders 75 firm CS100 aircraft with options for 50 more CS100 aircraft.

  • 2015 Strengthening our leadership team

    In 2015, several well respected industry veterans joined our senior leadership team, under the direction of our new President and Chief Executive Officer, Alain Bellemare.

  • 2015 C Series awarded type certification

    In December, the CS100 aircraft was awarded type certification from Transport Canada, paving the way for the delivery and EIS of the aircraft with first operator Swiss International Air Lines (SWISS).

  • 2015 Roadmap to 2020

    In November, we introduced our roadmap to 2020, a clear path for returning the organization to sustainable, profitable earnings growth and cash flow generation. Four levers were identified to drive results: revenue growth, operational transformation, business model enhancements, and portfolio strategy.

  • 2015 Caisse de dép?t et placement du Québec (CDPQ) Investment in Bombardier Transportation

    Announcement that the Caisse de dép?t et placement du Québec (CDPQ) will invest $1.5 billion in Bombardier Transportation’s newly-created holding company BT Holdco.  Sale of a 30% stake in Bombardier Transportation.

  • 2015 Government of Québec Partners with Bombardier on C Series

    Announcement that the government of Québec will invest $1 billion in the C Series aircraft program. This partnership comes at a pivotal time, with the C Series on the verge of certification.

  • 2014 Launching the new Challenger 650 program

    In October, Business aircraft launched the new Challenger 650 program, the evolution of the Challenger 605 aircraft. EIS is scheduled for the second half of 2015.

  • 2014 A new organizational structure to enhance agility

    In July, a new organizational structure was announced comprised of four business segments:

    • Bombardier Business Aircraft
    • Bombardier Commercial Aircraft
    • Bombardier Aerostructures and Engineering Services
    • Bombardier Transportation

    These segments now report directly to the President and CEO in order to enhance agility by adopting a new leaner, more nimble organizational structure.

  • 2013 Bombardier’s C Series Aircraft Completes Historic First Flight

    Under perfect weather conditions, Bombardier Aerospace celebrated the successful first flight of its C Series aircraft today, a major milestone in the company’s highly anticipated development program that will provide operators with an all-new family of aircraft specifically designed for the 100- to 149-seat market segment. The maiden flight marks the start of the C Series aircraft’s flight test program leading up to the first customer delivery, and was also the first flight for Pratt & Whitney’s new Geared Turbofan? PurePower engine as part of an aircraft certification program.

  • 2013 On the Path to Growth

    In May, Laurent Beaudoin celebrates his 50-year career with Bombardier.

    In June, Lutz Bertling is appointed President and Chief Operating Officer of Bombardier Transportation.

    In December, the activities of Flexjet in the fractional business aircraft market are sold.

  • 2013 Celebrating 50 years of Learjet

    2013 marks the 50th anniversary of the legendary Learjet aircraft program. On October 7th, 1963, the first Learjet aircraft rocketed through the sky and the business jet industry was born. Bill Lear’s vision brought the dream to life. Now, 50 years young, the world’s first family of business jets is still one of the most recognizable brands in the industry.

  • 2012 Bombardier signs largest business jet order in history

    VistaJet signs a deal for up to 142 Global business jets, valued at more than $7.8 billion U.S. (at 2012 list prices). The firm order comprises 25 Global 5000, 25 Global 6000 and six Global 8000 jets. The agreement also includes options for 40 Global 5000, 40 Global 6000 and six Global 8000 jets.

  • 2012 NetJets selects Bombardier jets again

    Bombardier announce a firm order from NetJets Inc. for 100 Challenger business jets with options for an additional 175 aircraft. If all the options are exercised, the total value of the order is approximately $7.3 billion US, based on 2012 list prices. At the time, it is the largest business jet order in history.

    This order comes only a year after NetJets had ordered up to 120 aircraft from the Global family, an order valued at $6.7 billion, at list prices, if all options are exercised.


  • 2012 Two more Learjet aircraft join the family

    Bombardier launches the Learjet 70 and the Learjet 75 aircraft. The new aircraft build on legendary Learjet strengths and successes while leveraging Learjet 85 aircraft technology. The jets feature a new modern design interior, a next-generation cabin management system, superior aircraft performance and low operating costs.

  • 2012 Interactive YouCity innovation contest

    Launch of our interactive YouCity innovation contest. The online competition is open to students and professionals with a vision for the future of urban mobility – from developed cities to emerging cities of the future. 

  • 2012 Our Promise: The Evolution of Mobility

    Bombardier formalizes its promise and commits to shaping the evolution of mobility by focusing on three growth strategies: investing in advanced mobility solutions, establishing local roots in key markets and achieving flawless execution. These are based on four competitive strengths: excellent talent on a global scale, strong financial discipline, active risk management and a commitment to corporate social responsibility.

  • 2011 Expansion in Morocco

    Bombardier signs a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with the Government of the Kingdom of Morocco for the establishment of a manufacturing facility in Morocco. Fabrication of subassemblies for simple structures starts in early February 2012 at the site in Nouaceur, near Casablanca.

  • 2011 Roll-out of the 700th AGC train

    Celebration of the rollout of the 700th AGC, the train of the French Regions, which represents the success and the end of a historical contract.

  • 2011 PRIMOVE e-mobility changes the game

    PRIMOVE e-mobility changes the game in tomorrow’s urban mobility allowing clean and efficient multi-modal transportation. This solution offers diverse ways of wirelessly charging all types of electric rail and road vehicles, including trams, buses, cars and trucks.

  • 2011 Innovative Last mile diesel TRAXX AC locomotive

    The launch of the innovative Last mile diesel TRAXX AC locomotive removes the need to change locomotive in shunting areas of a rail network.

  • 2010 The Global business jet family grows

    Bombardier introduces two new jets, the Global 7000 and the Global 8000 aircraft. Bombardier’s flagship Global aircraft family now uniquely covers the large, ultra long-range category with four aircraft models, the Global 5000, the Global 6000 (previously known as the Global Express XRS), Global 7000 and Global 8000 jets.

    The new aircraft will give customers the ability to reach more destinations non-stop than ever before, delivering unprecedented levels of performance, flexibility, and comfort.

  • 2010 Third generation of INNOVIA driverless systems

    Introduction of the third generation of INNOVIA driverless systems. This portfolio includes state-of-the-art automated metros, monorails and people movers.

  • 2010 Bombardier, Proud Supporter of the Vancouver Olympic Games and Designer of the Olympic Torch

    Designed and manufactured by Bombardier, the 2010 Olympic torch is inspired by the contours of the Canadian winter landscape. It symbolizes the tracks left in the snow and ice by winter sports.

  • 1959 Snowmobiling: A Brand-New Industry

    Joseph-Armand Bombardier never abandons his dream of inventing the perfect personal snowmobile. His persistent experimentation eventually spawns a brand-new industry: snowmobiling. In 1959, he launches his world-famous Ski-Doo.

    For more detailed information about Joseph-Armand Bombardier, visit J. Armand Bombardier Foundation.


  • 1999 Changes at the Helm of Bombardier

    Robert Brown is appointed President and Chief Executive Officer of Bombardier, succeeding Laurent Beaudoin, who becomes Executive Chairman of the Board and of the Executive Committee.

  • 1999 The new super midsize Challenger 300 jet is unveiled

    Bombardier launches the Bombardier Continental Business Jet, an all-new transcontinental super midsize business jet. The jet makes its first flight in August 2001 and enters service in 2004. It is renamed the Challenger 300 in 2002.

  • 1998 ATV Launch

    Bombardier launches the ATV, a brand-new all-terrain vehicle designed for two riders.

  • 1998 The Dash becomes the Q Series turboprops

    In 1997, Bombardier equips all of its Dash 8 turboprops with its newly developed Active Noise and Vibration Suppression (ANVS) system. The revolutionary ANVS makes turboprop cabins almost as quiet as those of jets. In response to the market’s highly favourable reaction, Bombardier renames its Dash 8 line the Q Series (Q for ‘quiet’) in 1998.

  • 1998 Growing Stronger in Rail Transportation

    Bombardier acquires Berlin-based Deutsche Waggonbau AG (DWA) including six plants in Germany and operations in Czech Republic and Switzerland.

  • 1995 The birth of Flexjet

    Bombardier establishes a new customer base with the launch of its Flexjet fractional ownership program, an innovative private business jet solution for individuals and companies. The program enables participants to purchase shares in a business aircraft, providing them an annual flight time entitlement.

  • 1995 Bombardier expands its foothold in Europe

    Bombardier acquires Waggonfabrik Talbot GmbH & Co., a rail transportation equipment manufacturer in Germany. This acquisition expands Bombardier’s foothold in Europe, the world’s largest rail market.

  • 1993 Launch of the ultra long-range Global Express business jet program

    Bombardier announces its decision to go ahead with the development of its all-new ultra long-range Global Express business jet, which offers unparalleled comfort and the ability to fly non-stop from Montréal to Tokyo.

    The aircraft makes its first flight in 1996 and enters into service in 1999.


  • 1992 Bombardier acquires de Havilland

    The de Havilland division of Boeing, based in Canada, joins the Bombardier family in 1992. A pioneer in the development of short take-off and landing (STOL) aircraft, it brings to the family the Dash 8 series turboprops regional airliners. Bombardier becomes a leader in the growing market niche of regional airlines and the only one to offer both jet and turboprop aircraft in the 50-seat category.

  • 1992 Acquisitions in Canada and Mexico

    In 1992, Bombardier ventures into Mexico, acquiring rail rolling stock manufacturer Constructura Nacional de Carros de Ferrocarril. It also acquires the Canadian assets of UTDC Inc. (Thunder Bay and Kingston, Ontario).



  • 1991 Production begins on the Bombardier 415 amphibious aircraft

    An initial order from France for the CL-415 amphibious aircraft – later renamed the Bombardier 415 – prompts the beginning of production. Further orders from the province of Québec and Italy soon follow. The aircraft has its first flight in 1993 and enters into service in 1994.

    Today, the Bombardier 415 amphibian remains the only aircraft specifically designed for aerial firefighting and can be configured for other utility roles, including maritime search and rescue, surveillance and personnel transport.


  • 1990 Learjet joins Bombardier’s growing fleet

    The acquisition of Learjet Corporation allows Bombardier to have a strong presence in the United States. The company also gains a product with an excellent reputation and highly recognized trademark. Bombardier promptly launches the Learjet 60 aircraft, the first midsize business jet, which would rank as the top-selling aircraft in its class four years later.

  • 1990 Bombardier ventures into the U.K. market

    In 1990, it enters the U.K. market for the first time, acquiring Procor Engineering Limited, a manufacturer of body shells for locomotives and rail passenger cars.

  • 1949 Transforming Challenges into Opportunities

    The Québec government’s new snow-removal policy for rural roads deals a major blow to L’Auto-Neige Bombardier. The entrepreneurial Bombardier responds by developing new markets and products, including a truck with interchangeable skis and wheels for Canada’s lumber industry.

    For more detailed information about Joseph-Armand Bombardier, visit J. Armand Bombardier Foundation


  • 1942 L’Auto-Neige Bombardier Limitée Is Born

    Joseph-Armand Bombardier founds L’Auto-Neige Bombardier Limitée to manufacture the 12-passenger B12 snowmobile. A series of other snow-going vehicles follows for ambulance, freight transport, mail delivery and school transportation services. 

  • 1937 A Gift for Invention: B7 Snowmobile Launched

    Today’s Bombardier grew out of a young mechanic’s inventive genius and entrepreneurial spirit. Born in 1907, Joseph-Armand Bombardier builds his first “snow vehicle” at the ripe age of 15. His motivation? To help people travel across the snow-covered roads of rural Québec in Canada.

    In 1937, J.-Armand achieves his first major commercial success with the launch of the seven-passenger B7 snowmobile.

    For more detailed information about Joseph-Armand Bombardier, visit J. Armand Bombardier Foundation.


  • 1966 Laurent Beaudoin Takes the Helm

    Laurent Beaudoin, the founder’s son-in-law, becomes president of the company. He proves to be as visionary and innovative as Joseph-Armand Bombardier.

    Under Beaudoin’s inspired leadership, the company enters a new era of organic growth and diversification through strategic acquisitions. In 1969, taking the company public further fuels growth, with listings on the Montréal and Toronto Stock Exchanges.


  • 1964 The End of an Era

    Joseph-Armand Bombardier only lives to see the first signs of the snowmobile’s phenomenal success. He dies in 1964, leaving behind a healthy and financially sound company.

  • 2009 First commercial service of the Francilien train

    The first Francilien train arrives in Paris Nord station on 12 December 2009 for its first commercial service on line H to Luzarches.

  • 2009 PRIMOVE catenary-free system

    Launch of our PRIMOVE catenary-free system providing solutions for inner-city trams. 

  • 2009 Launch of the Our Way Forward Strategic Framework

    Bombardier sets its sights on five strategic priorities: excellence in execution, strong local roots, unequaled talent, managed risks and enhanced corporate social responsibility.

  • 2009 YouRail – Visions of Modern Transportation

    Bombardier becomes the first rail manufacturer to create an online innovation community by launching a unique interior design contest: YouRail – Visions of Modern Transportation.

  • 2008 The all-new, game-changing C Series aircraft program is launched

    Bombardier launches the C Series five-abreast commercial airliner family, which offers the economics, performance, environmental and passenger-oriented improvements demanded by airline customers for the next quarter century.

    Lufthansa, a leading German airline, signs a letter of interest (LOI) for up to 60 aircraft, including 30 options.


  • 2008 Restructuring of Senior Management

    Pierre Beaudoin succeeds Laurent Beaudoin as President and Chief Executive Officer, while Guy Hachey is appointed at the head of Bombardier Aerospace. The Office of the President is dissolved.

  • 2008 ECO4: Energy, efficiency, economy and ecology

    Launch of our ECO4 portfolio: Built on the four cornerstones of energy, efficiency, economy and ecology, ECO4 products stand for optimized energy use and minimized energy waste.

  • 2007 The world's first hybrid train officially enters commercial service in France

    The hybrid AGC (Autorail Grande Capacité) with dual mode and dual voltage technology enables to switch seamlessly from electric traction on electrified railway sections to diesel on non-electrified ones. The hybrid AGC can operate on both 1500 V and 25kV networks.

  • 2007 Introducing the Learjet 85

    Bombardier launches the Learjet 85 program, originally named Learjet NXT, the first business jet with a primarily composite structure. This clean-sheet Learjet aircraft targets a high-speed cruise of Mach 0.82 and a transcontinental range of up to 3,000 nautical miles (5,556 km). This aircraft is designed to provide a larger, more comfortable cabin than any existing midsize aircraft.

  • 2007 Formal Commitment on Corporate Social Responsibility

    As a leader in the manufacture of sustainable transport solutions, Bombardier formalises its commitment to being a good corporate citizen. This commitment is based on three pillars: excellence, people and the environment. Bombardier adheres to the United Nations Global Compact and is listed for the first time among companies forming the Dow Jones World and Dow Jones North America sustainability indices.

  • 2007 CRJ Series continues to evolve

    Bombardier launches the 100-seat CRJ1000 regional jet, the next major step in the evolution of the CRJ Series, the world's most successful regional aircraft program. First flight of the aircraft takes place in September 2008.

    Bombardier also introduces the next generation version of its regional jets, the CRJ Series family, which features improved operating costs, an all-new cabin and increased use of composite materials.

    The CRJ1000 completes its first flight in September 2008.


  • 2006 Expansion into Mexico

    Bombardier establishes a world-class facility in Querétaro, Mexico for the manufacture of the main harnesses and electrical sub-assemblies for Bombardier business and commercial aircraft. Operations at the Mexico site now include the manufacture of structural aircraft components, such as the aft fuselage for the renowned Global business jet family, the flight control work package (rudder, elevator and horizontal stabilizer) for the Q400 NextGen turboprop, as well as for CRJ700/900/1000 NextGen and the Challenger 605 aircraft. In addition, since 2010, the primary structure manufacturing and pre-assembly of the Learjet 85 – the first primarily composite structure business jet – takes place in Querétaro.

  • 2006 Boosting Its World Leadership in Rail Transportation

    Bombardier further strengthens its leadership in rail transportation with major orders for light rail vehicles, commuter trains and intercity trains from Germany, France and South Africa respectively. Also in 2006, Bombardier launches the ORBITA predictive maintenance system, SEKURFLO security management system and MITRAC Train Control and Management System (TCMS). 

  • 2005 Continued growth in business jets

    Bombardier continues to grow its business jet portfolio with the introduction of the Challenger 605 intercontinental business jet – the next generation in the Challenger 600 Series – and the  Learjet 60 XR midsize business jet – the latest evolution of the proven Learjet 60 jet.The company also launches the Challenger 800 Series corporate shuttles, combining the largest cabin of its class with the outstanding dependability and performance of the CRJ200 airliner.

  • 2005 ZEFIRO very high speed train

    Introduction of ZEFIRO, Bombardier’s first very high speed train. The ZEFIRO portfolio features the world’s most economical and eco-friendly very high speed trains. 



  • 2004 Further Consolidation

    While André Navarri, the new President and Chief Operating Officer of Bombardier Transportation, develops and implements a comprehensive plan to restructure the group, the manufacturing activities at Bombardier Aerospace are consolidated, notably through the creation of integrated manufacturing centres. In parallel, the two groups recuperate the responsibilities of Bombardier International. The company’s balance sheet is strengthened and its working capital increased. 

    At year end, Laurent Beaudoin returns to the helm of the company and creates the Office of the President, which includes Pierre Beaudoin and André Navarri.

  • 2003 Refocusing on Core Activities

    Bombardier refocuses its activities on rail transportation and aerospace equipment, two sectors that have the greatest potential for profitability and are financially and operationally complementary, following the appointment of Paul Tellier as President and Chief Executive Officer.

    The recreational product business is sold and the non-core activities of Bombardier Capital are subject to a progressive and orderly liquidation.

  • 2002 The growth of the industry’s most complete range of business jets

    Bombardier launches the Bombardier Global 5000 super-large business jet in February 2002. Later that same year, Bombardier introduces the light Learjet 40 business jet and the Learjet 45 XR superlight business jet. By adding these three aircraft to its portfolio, Bombardier offer the industry’s most complete range of business jets.

    A year later, the company adds the Global Express XRS ultra long-range business jet, an improved version of the world’s finest business jet. The aircraft takes the outstanding performance of the Global Express even further, offering greater levels of cabin comfort and technology, while connecting more cities faster than any other business jet. 


  • 2002 Bombardier relocates its Transportation headquarters to Berlin, Germany

    Bombardier relocates its Transportation headquarters from Montréal, Canada, to Berlin, Germany. This move strengthens its ability to serve Europe, the world’s largest rail market.

  • 2001 Major Acquisitions

    Bombardier becomes the leader in the rail equipment industry by acquiring Adtranz. It also purchases the assets related to the Johnson and Evinrude outboard motor brands.

    The September 11 tragedy causes a crisis in the airline industry worldwide. The following month, Pierre Beaudoin is appointed President and Chief Operating Officer of Bombardier Aerospace.

  • 2001 Becoming the Global Leader in Rail Transportation

    Bombardier acquires Germany-based DaimlerChrysler AG’s subsidiary DaimlerChrysler Rail Systems GmbH (Adtranz). The Adtranz acquisition gives Bombardier global leadership in the rail equipment manufacturing and servicing industry.A year later, Bombardier relocates its Transportation headquarters from Montréal, Canada, to Berlin, Germany. This move strengthens its ability to serve Europe, the world’s largest rail market. 

  • 2000 Expanding into air charter reservations

    Bombardier acquires Skyjet.com, a pioneer in real-time online air charter reservations. Bombardier expands this service in 2005 with the launch of Skyjet International, giving travellers unrestricted access to more than 900 business jets worldwide. In 2010, Bombardier integrates and re-brands its Skyjet unit under the Flexjet name.



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