CEO be­hind pur­chase of Bom­bardier’s Q400 line to keep pro­duc­tion in Canada

The Guardian (Charlottetown) - - BUSINESS -

The head of the B.C. com­pany that scooped up Bom­bardier Inc.’s Q400 tur­bo­prop busi­ness is pledg­ing to keep all man­u­fac­tur­ing al­ready in Canada within the coun­try.

Longview Avi­a­tion Cap­i­tal chief ex­ec­u­tive David Cur­tis says the Q400 is a “nat­u­ral fit” for the Vic­to­ria-based com­pany, whose sub­sidiary Vik­ing Air Ltd. makes tur­bo­prop air­craft, such as the Twin Ot­ter.

Bom­bardier man­u­fac­tures about 28 to 30 Q400 air­craft an­nu­ally at its Downsview prop­erty in Toronto, that the com­pany sold ear­lier this year to the Pub­lic Sec­tor Pen­sion In­vest­ment Board. Bom­bardier has a lease on the prop­erty un­til 2021, with a two-year ex­ten­sion op­tion.

Cur­tis says “the writ­ing’s on the wall” and that a move is on the hori­zon, but that any fu­ture pro­duc­tion site will “ab­so­lutely not” leave Cana­dian soil. He says Longview in­tends to main­tain ex­ist­ing sup­ply chains for the Q400 and Dash 8 se­ries that stretch from China to Ire­land.

Cur­tis says the deal, which is slated to close in the sec­ond half of 2019, po­si­tions Longview to more than triple its an­nual rev­enue to $1 bil­lion.

Union and op­po­si­tion lead­ers in Que­bec spoke out against Bom­bardier’s move Thurs­day to lay off 5,000 work­ers, in­clud­ing 500 in On­tario and 2,500 in Que­bec, as part of a re­struc­tur­ing plan that cuts more than 12 per cent of its Cana­dian po­si­tions.

CP PHOTO

A Bom­bardier Q400 jet sits in a han­gar at the Bom­bardier fa­cil­ity in Toronto, On­tario. The head of the Bri­tish Columbia avi­a­tion com­pany that scooped up Bom­bardier Inc.’s Q400 tur­bo­prop busi­ness is pledg­ing to keep all man­u­fac­tur­ing al­ready in Canada within the coun­try.

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