An interesting fact to come out of the manufacturers’ data reports is the minor role played by one of the world’s most enduring and iconic brand names: the Learjet. In the last two years, the Learjet has accounted for less than 10% of Bombardier’s sales on a unit basis and a significantly smaller number as a proportion of their revenues. In fact, the combined total value of the Learjets sold in the first half of the year amounts to less than the sale price of just one Global 6000.
Increased competition from Embraer’s Phenom 300 and Cessna’s Citation CJ4 have directly led to this decrease in market demand. While the Lear 75 offers a higher payload at full fuel and some slightly higher cruise speeds, the Phenom 300 and CJ4 provide functionally similar performance, lower operating costs, and single pilot capability. Since their introduction into service, the Phenom 300 and CJ4 have delivered over 800 aircraft. For comparison, the Lear 45XR/75 series has delivered only 146 new aircraft in this same period.
The Learjet brand is one of the most recognizable private jet brand names to the wider public, and the fact that it now accounts for such a miniscule presence in the industry is a sad statistic. The Learjet was the first, most famous, and most popular of light private jets. Hopefully, this iconic brand will not disappear as it is one that has a storied past.