By Alwyn Scott
| ORLANDO, Fla.
ORLANDO, Fla. Canadian plane and train maker Bombardier Inc (BBDb.TO) said on Monday it is expanding support operations for its business jets, hiring 200 technicians and expanding service centres in Europe, the United States and Asia.The move comes amid a sustained slowdown in business jet sales, as many manufacturers are positioning to capture more sales of products and services after planes are sold.Bombardier declined to specify the amount of investment or what level of sales growth it expects from the expansion.
"We are focused on growing our aftermarket business," Jean-Christophe Gallagher, vice president of strategy and marketing at Bombardier Business Aircraft, said at a news conference at the National Business Aviation Association conference. Bombardier will open a service facilities in Tianjin, China, and Biggin Hill Airport, outside London, early next year. The company also will triple the size of its service centre in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. All will perform jet maintenance, modifications, equipment upgrades and avionics installations, a way to bolster activity amid slow sales of new jets.
The new, wholly owned centres add to a network of seven centres, part of an "aggressive expansion" of services.
The more than 4,500 Bombardier business jets now flying represent "a great opportunity for us" to increase aftermarket sales to make up for fewer plane deliveries, Gallagher added. (Reporting by Alwyn Scott; Editing by Bill Trott and Cynthia Osterman)
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