Bombardier is looking to increase revenue as the introduction of vaccines improves prospects for business travel

© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Bombardier’s Global 7500 Business Jet is shown during a media tour in Montreal, Quebec, Canada on December 19, 2018. REUTERS / Christinne Muschi

(Reuters) -Bombardier said Thursday it expects improved revenue from business jet activities in 2020 this year as the introduction of vaccination boosts traffic in the U.S., the world’s largest business jet market.

Board chairman Éric Martel told analysts that airplane prices would be in line with expectations or even a little better. A rebound in U.S. business aviation to pre-pandemic levels should bolster higher-margin aftermarket services as planes fly more.

Montreal-based Bombardier (OTC 🙂 saw quarterly adjusted earnings grow 43% and used less cash, aided by a rebound in business aviation as rising COVID-19 vaccinations spurred travel.

The company announced its earnings in advance on Monday while also seeking approval from bondholders to change terms on eight bond issues. The move followed allegations by a bondholder that recent sales of non-core assets violated the provisions of certain debt securities.

Martel told reporters “we’re feeling pretty good about our preliminary talks” with bondholders, adding that the voting results will be released next Tuesday.

Bombardier also announced that the US joined an ongoing investigation into the sale of jets to Garuda Indonesia a decade ago.

Bombardier has grown into a pure business jet manufacturer after divesting assets, including its rail business Alstom (PA 🙂 in January.

Free cash flow utilization, a metric closely watched by investors, improved $ 357 million year over year, Bombardier said. The first quarter book-to-bill, which measures orders for deliveries, was above 1.0 due to strong sales activity that is expected to continue into the second quarter.

Adjusted earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) for Bombardier increased 43% year over year to $ 123 million for the first quarter. Business jet revenue increased 18% to $ 1.3 billion for the quarter.

Between 110 and 120 business jets are expected to be delivered in 2021 after full-year deliveries fell 20% to 114 jets in 2020.

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