MONTREAL - Bombardier Aerospace is heading to an airshow in Istanbul next week as it continues to try to land aircraft orders in developing markets such as Turkey, where it sees "breakout" potential.
The Montreal-based division of plane and train giant Bombardier Inc. (TSX:BBD.B) is bringing its Learjet 60XR, Challenger 605 and Global 6000 business jets along with commercial aircraft executives to the four-day biennial show.
The ninth annual International Civil Aviation and Airports Exhibition opens next Thursday.
Bombardier has attended the show before but the Global 6000 is making its first visit.
Bombardier has recently boosted its sales force in developing countries and sees the Middle East and Turkey as opportunities. The region is expected to take delivery of some 1,185 business jets over the next 20 years.
The world's third-largest aircraft manufacturer will also promote its Q400 regional jets and 110- to 149-seat CSeries, plane which recently took its first virtual flight as it prepares for delivery starting the end of next year.
"Turkey, as a gateway to both the Middle East and Europe, has the potential to be a breakout market for Bombardier," said Raphael Haddad, vice-president sales, Middle East and Africa for Bombardier Commercial Aircraft.
Bombardier has delivered or received orders for 789 commercial aircraft in the Middle East, Africa, Europe, Russia and the CIS, including 487 in Europe. Turkey's Atlasjet signed a letter of intent to acquire 10 larger CSeries jetliners and has options for five more planes.
It also has 19 business aircraft in operation in Turkey, 72 in the Middle East, 60 in Africa and 46 registered in Russia and the CIS. Europe is the second-largest market after the U.S. with 56 business jets. Bombardier has received orders this year for 174 business jets.
The manufacturer forecasts the industry will deliver 24,000 aircraft valued at $648 billion over the next 20 years in the segments in which it competes.
On the Toronto Stock Exchange, Bombardier shares were unchanged at $3.52 in afternoon trading, but down 31 per cent over the past year.
Kevin Chiang of CIBC World Markets said investors are attributing almost all of Bombardier's value to its railway division. Little is being attached to aerospace, let alone the CSeries, which some view with skepticism because of delays faced by Boeing and Airbus.
"The market is being overly punitive," he wrote in a report. "With the first flight around the corner, we believe the Boeing discount being applied to Bombardier will eventually unwind."
The shares of Boeing, Airbus parent EADS, Embraer and Bombardier rose by an average of 22 per cent six months after the first flight of their latest commercial aircraft.
With the focus on aerospace, transportation has become the "forgotten" division. But Chiang said the world's leading rail provider should benefit from an expected four- to eight-per-cent growth in demand for urban rail and high-speed rail over the next five to 10 years.
The analyst said there is limited risk that Bombardier shares can fall further, but the "upside potential is just too hard to ignore considering the roll-out of the new aircraft product line and the positive long-term fundamentals for aircraft and rail equipment demand."