Bright skies ahead for Bombardier in Asia | Asian Business Review
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Photo from the Bombardier website

Bright skies ahead for Bombardier in Asia

The story of Bombardier Inc, is one of family, one of belonging, and the corporate manifestation of that, deep-rooted client-centrism.

The Montreal-based private jet manufacturer, Bombardier, enjoys a storied journey that traces its foundation to tragedy. At the height of WWII, Joseph-Armand Bombardier developed a rescue snowmobile following his infant son’s death caused by delayed access to emergency medical care due to impenetrable blizzard conditions. From this point, the founder dedicated his life to transportation, and this day, Bombardier’s suite of elite business aviation options can be adapted at the pre-sales stage to provide medical evacuation services and care in the sky. However, this is not the primary thrust of Bombardier’s formidable reputation. Leaving aside rescue snowmobiles, rolling stock, buses and military vehicles, the octogenarian firm is best known as the global leader in business aviation.

Overlooking a pair of glisteningly white Bombardier jets at the first post-COVID Singapore Air Show, Executive Vice President, Jean-Christophe Gallagher, ponders the ice-breaker, ‘Why Singapore?’

“What’s so exciting about Asia for us is that our leaders have made smart decisions about Singapore. Ten years ago we had a vision for Singapore (Seletar) to become our business aviation hub for Asia,” Gallagher told Asian Business Review’s Contributing Editor, Simon Hyett. “Geographically it’s perfect and Singapore is the business centre for the region. Now, just a decade on we have proven fully committed to this nation. We have 400 staff in Seletar, and we serve the entire Asia Pacific geography out of our SG hub.”

Gallagher himself mirrors the fundamental ethos of the company. An energetic and positive character, the veteran of 23 years (over a quarter of the firm’s lifespan), speaks of Bombardier with familial love. The Montreal native has worked in engineering and logistics, before moving to aircraft sales and defence. Having intimately understood every facet of the business, Gallagher’s role is now both broadly strategic, as well as nuanced… and there is still an effervescence to drive the organisation into a new business aviation era. At this level, strategy means one thing, placing the client at the centre of every decision.

“To me, this is our unique proposition, truly understanding every client’s individual needs. We can create a completely bespoke aircraft. Our aircraft can service high net-worth individuals, corporates, medevac, defence and government. We are fully customisable, and no two aircraft in service are the same.” Gallagher adds that apart from providing a one-on-one sales service, the organisation takes its after-purchase advice and care just as seriously. “Understanding the client’s needs is absolutely critical but it doesn’t stop there, we predict client needs, and we can offer consulting and advisory as well.”

“Our secret sauce is predicting client needs.”

The company’s flagship business aviation product, the Global 7500 is truly something to behold. Pulled straight from an episode of the Blacklist or Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous, the attention to mechanical, aeronautical, and luxurious detail is almost beyond words. For starters, the jet’s numerical suffix, 7500, represents its nautical miles – over one-third of the Earth’s circumference. The wings are precision engineered to smooth out turbulence ascending to and descending from cruising altitude of 50,000 feet, an altitude at which one senior Bombardier pilot, speaking to Asian Business Review, describes as, “the transcendental space where time stands still in a deep, rich iridescent blue so we can see the Earth’s curvature.” The cabin is pressurised at a modest 3,000 feet (rather than 8,000 feet for most commercial aircraft) mitigating fatigue after long flights and allowing passengers to head straight into meetings with a clear head. The master bedroom with a double bed helps with mental acuity as well.

The Global 7500 boasts a mini-cinema, lighting schemes that adjust across time zones to soothe passengers’ confused circadian rhythms, and hundreds of other incredibly and intricately well-planned amenities, facilities and luxuries. The Global 7500 is a mini-palace gently laid on the clouds. Needless to say, the Canadian aviation stalwart would not be market leader by resting on its laurels. Asking Gallagher what is around the corner, he says with a twinkle, “We hope to launch the Global 8000, ready by end-2025. This will be beyond luxury, the summation of all our reliability measures, boasting a new level of engineering and manufacturing precision,” he says with pride.

2026 Singapore Airshow watch-out, here comes the Global 8000.

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