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  Home >> GNC News >> 20171017
 
 Bombardier to partner Airbus on C-Series jets
2017-10-17

 

European aerospace firm Airbus is to take a majority stake in Bombardier's C-Series jet project. Bombardier has faced a series of problems over the plane, most recently a trade dispute in the US that imposed a 300% import tariff. Bombardier's Northern Ireland's director Michael Ryan said the deal was "great news" for the Belfast operation.

 

About 1,000 staff work on the C-Series at a purpose-built factory in Belfast, mostly making the plane's wings. Airbus and Bombardier's chief executives said the deal - which will see Airbus take a 50.01% stake - would help to boost sales. The deal also gives Airbus the right to buy full control of the C-Series project in 2023.

Experts have hailed the deal as hugely significant and described it as akin to a supervolcano exploding in the aviation world. BBC Northern Ireland's business and economics editor John Campbell said Airbus had effectively taken control of the C-Series project in a transformational deal. He said it would use its financial muscle in procurement and sales, while Bombardier's manufacturing operations would continue to build the planes.

It's perhaps symptomatic of the difficulties the C-Series has faced that Airbus will not have to hand over any cash for its 50% stake. The hope will be that Airbus' financial muscle will finally put an end to those difficulties. In particular, Airbus thinks it can solve the C-Series tariff problem by assembling the plane for US customers inside the US at its factory in Alabama.

 

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