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