Airbus to buy majority stake in Bombardier CSeries program

Airbus on Monday announced it was acquiring a majority stake in rival Bombardier’s embattled C Series airliner program, reshaping the landscape in the transatlantic battle against plane maker Boeing.

Montreal-based Bombardier has explored a variety of strategic options with potential partners in recent months, but discussions took on a new urgency following a pair of recent US trade tariff decisions that would potentially quadruple the cost of CSeries jets sold in the USA, one of the people said.

Mr Clark said the United Kingdom and Canadian governments had been working to “safeguard jobs and manufacturing at Bombardier Shorts in Belfast, and the supply chain across the UK”.

It is not yet known how the surprise move will affect Bombardier’s 4,000 employees in Belfast.

Airbus chief executive Tom Enders called the partnership a “win-win for everybody”. The C Series, with its state-of-the-art design and great economics, is a great fit with our existing single-aisle aircraft family and rapidly extends our product offering into a fast growing market sector.

“This partnership should more than double the value of the CSeries program and ensures our remarkable game-changing aircraft realizes its full potential”.

Arlene Foster, leader of Northern Ireland’s Democratic Unionist Party, said she hoped the deal would “safeguard” the C-Series programme.

The C Series primary assembly line and the partnership’s headquarters will remain in Quebec.

The agreement between Airbus and Bombardier aims to allow for significant production savings on the C-Series aircraft and to make use of Airbus’s global reach for sales, the two groups said in a statement.

The plane seats from 100 to 150.

Under the deal, Bombardier will own about 31 percent, while Investissement Qu├ębec, the investment arm of the province of Quebec, will hold 19 percent once the deal closes.

Airbus would provide procurement, sales and marketing, and customer support to the CSALP, the entity that makes and sells the jet.

There will be no cash contribution by any of the partners, nor will CSALP assume any financial debt, they said.

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