MONTREAL – It was once one of Quebec’s corporate darlings whose ambitions reached the skies. But in recent years, Bombardier has hit waves of turbulence.
On Thursday, the Montreal-based company received a major lift when it announced that Delta Air Lines placed an order that would be the largest for its troubled CSeries passenger jet program.
Here’s a timeline that charts Bombardier’s growth from a small snowmobile business to Canada’s largest aerospace manufacturer:
1937: Joseph-Armand Bombardier launches the seven-passenger B7 snowmobile.
1942: Bombardier founds L’Auto-Niege Bombardier Limitee to manufacture the 12-passenger B12 snowmobile.
1959: The world-famous Ski-Doo is launched.
1966: Laurent Beaudoin, Bombardier’s son-in-law, becomes the company’s president.
1969: The company goes public with listings on the Montreal and Toronto Stock Exchanges.
1970: Bombardier buys Lohnerwerke, a manufacturer of motor scooters and trams in Vienna, Austria. The acquisition is Bombardier’s first outside Canada and marks its first foray into the railway business.
1974: The company lands a deal to manufacture 423 subway cars for Montreal, its first mass transit contract.
1986: Bombardier takes to the skies, buying Canadair, maker of the Challenger business jets.
1988: Sea-Doo watercraft are launched.
1999: Robert Brown named president and CEO, succeeding Beaudoin, who becomes executive chairman of the board and executive committee.
2003: Bombardier sells its recreational products division for $960 million to a group of investors consisting of U.S. investment firm Bain Capital, the Caisse de depot pension fund and members of the Bombardier family.
2008: CSeries program is launched. German airline Lufthansa signs a letter of interest for up to 60 aircraft.
2010: Concerns begin to crop up over delays with the CSeries jets.
2013: Maiden test flight for CSeries aircraft.
Feb. 12, 2015: Laurent Beaudoin’s son, Pierre, steps down as CEO, handing over the reins to Alain Bellemare as Bombardier copes with mounting cost overruns for the CSeries.
Oct. 29, 2015: Quebec announces US$1 billion in support for Bombardier.
Jan. 27, 2016: Shares in Bombardier close below US$1 on the TSX for the first time in 25 years.
April 28, 2016: Bombardier announces deal with Delta Air Lines that could see the Atlanta-based company buy up to 125 CSeries jets. The sale would be the largest for the CSeries program.