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RIM to sell corporate jet in savings effort

RIM is planning to sell off one of its two corporate jets, Bloomberg has reported, citing sources familiar with the matter. The sale of the aircraft will fall under the struggling company’s plan to cut $1 billion (£646 million) in operating costs.

The nine-passenger Dassault Aviation SA F50EX aircraft will likely fetch between $6 million - $7 million (£3.8 million - £4.5 million). RIM will keep its 14-passenger Dassault F900EX jet, which can travel longer distances. The smaller jet is estimated to cost $2.1 million (£1.3 million) per year, while the 14-seater runs some $2.2 million (£1.4 million) in annual costs.

“We’re looking at options with both our aircraft costs and finding ways to reduce our travel while still making sure we keep in close contact with our partners around the world,” a RIM spokesperson told Bloomberg. “It’s all part of the effort to find ways to reduce costs and drive efficiencies that [chief executive] Thorsten Heins has talked about.”

Heins has said he will enact “significant efficiencies and operating cost reductions” as a part of its cost-cutting effort. RIM recently announced it would be shedding jobs and reducing manufacturing as a part of that plan.

The company, whose market value has plummeted 95 per cent since its peak in 2008, has seen a 47 per cent drop in US sales in 2011.

Speaking to shareholders at RIM’s annual meeting, Heins pledged to reverse the company’s fortunes with the release of the BlackBerry 10 platform in 2013.