By Allison Lampert and Sanjana Shivdas
(Reuters) - Bombardier Inc said on Thursday it would generate higher revenue and use less cash in 2021, helped by a rebound in business jet flights and demand for aircraft after the pandemic sapped orders last year, driving up its shares as much as 8%.
Supply chain challenges that have hit aerospace globally would not prevent Bombardier from meeting its 2021 target of 120 business jet deliveries, Chief Executive Éric Martel told reporters.
Bombardier is close to being sold out of all aircraft in 2021, with Martel telling analysts earlier he expects orders to pick up for the company's flagship Global 7500 jet "between now and year-end."
According to FlightAware data, business jet flights rose 23% in the week beginning July 21 over 2019 levels in the United States, the world's largest market for corporate aviation.
Separately, Bombardier also disclosed that the Royal Canadian Mounted Police would join a global investigation into suspected bribery related to decade-old sales of company jets to Garuda Indonesia.
Bombardier shares were last up 5% at C$1.58.
Rivals Textron and General Dynamics Corp's Gulfstream Aerospace are raising production to meet higher demand.
Asked whether Bombardier was also considering higher production rates, Martel said the company is instead focused on increasing its $10.7 billion order backlog.
Free cash flow usage for 2021, a metric closely watched by investors, is now expected to be better than $300 million, compared with previous guidance of $500 million.
Full-year revenue is expected to exceed $5.8 billion, up from more than $5.6 billion.
Business jet revenue for the three months ended June 30 jumped 50% to $1.5 billion, compared with the $1.3 billion that analysts were expecting, according to Refinitiv.
But Bombardier posted an adjusted net loss of $137 million, or 6 cents per share, for the second quarter.
Bombardier, the latest aerospace group to face scrutiny over past deals, has previously said the U.S. Department of Justice and Britain's Serious Fraud Office are investigating the acquisition and lease of its CRJ1000 aircraft to Garuda between 2011 and 2012.
“We are participating in the investigation, we support the investigation," Martel told reporters.
(Reporting by Sanjana Shivdas in Bengaluru and Allison Lampert in Montreal; Editing by Kirsten Donovan and Steve Orlofsky)