Airbus to take majority stake in Bombardier’s C-Series passenger jet business
Airbus has said it will acquire a majority stake in Bombardier’s C-Series passenger jet business.
The agreement, if approved by regulators, would come at no cost for Airbus and would give the planemaker a 50.01% stake in Bombardier’s CSeries Aircraft Limited Partnership.
The C Series had come under attack this year from Boeing who claim Bombardier sold the jet to Delta Air Lines at “absurdly low prices.”
The U.S. Department of Commerce responded by slapping a 300% tariff on the plane’s imports, setting up a diplomatic row that has drawn in the Canadian and U.K. governments.
The Boeing-Bombardier dispute has seen PM Theresa May ask U.S. President Donald Trump to intervene in order save British jobs.
Bombardier’s Northern Ireland’s director Michael Ryan said the deal was “great news” for the Belfast operation.
Around 1,000 staff work on the C-Series at a purpose-built factory in Belfast, mostly making the plane’s wings.
The deal will see Airbus acquire 50.01% of the C-Series program, Bombardier and Investissement Québec will own approximately 31% and 19% respectively.
Bombardier will gain access to Airbus’s expansive marketing, sales operation, customer support network and its aerospace manufacturing supply chain.
Airbus will look to establish a second final assembly line for the C-Series in Mobile, Alabama, where it currently builds A320’s.
Airbus chief executive officer Tom Enders said:
“Not only will this partnership secure the C Series and its industrial operations in Canada, the UK and China, but we also bring new jobs to the US.
“I have no doubt that our partnership with Bombardier will boost sales and the value of this programme tremendously.”
Alain Bellemare, president and chief executive officer of Bombardier, said:
“This partnership should more than double the value of the C-Series programme and ensures our remarkable game-changing aircraft realises its full potential.”
“This is a strategic decision. We’re doing this deal here not because of this Boeing petition. We are doing this deal because it is the right strategic move for Bombardier. And it makes good strategic sense for Airbus.”
A Boeing spokesperson dismissed the agreement saying; “This looks like a questionable deal between two state-subsidized competitors to skirt a recent U.S. trade finding [against the CSeries] everybody should play by the same rules.”
Bombardier is the largest manufacturing employer in Northern Ireland, political leaders there welcomed the move:
Statement on Bombardier and Airbus announcing joint venture on C Series. pic.twitter.com/pxTCqnslPD
— Gavin Robinson (@GRobinsonDUP) October 16, 2017
Full Airbus Statement: Airbus-Bombardier C series agreement
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