Bom­bardier wins £4.5bn C Series or­der in boost for Belfast staff

Cana­dian aerospace gi­ant also un­veils new lux­ury busi­ness jets

Belfast Telegraph - Business Telegraph - - Front Page - BY MAR­GARET CANNING

AEROSPACE gi­ant Bom­bardier and its 4,000 work­ers in North­ern Ire­land have re­ceived a “tre­men­dous en­dorse­ment” as a re­turn­ing cus­tomer placed a new or­der worth up to $6bn (£4.5bn) for 60 of its C Series planes.

Bom­bardier will sell fast-grow­ing Euro­pean air­line air­baltic 30 CS300 air­craft — the wings of which are made in Belfast — with op­tions to buy an­other 30.

And Bom­bardier has also un­veiled two new lux­ury busi­ness jets which will be part-made in Belfast.

The Cana­dian firm’s two new air­craft are the Global 5500 and Global 6500.

The plane-maker’s Belfast work­force al­ready makes a range of parts — in­clud­ing the for­ward fuse­lage, en­gine na­celles and other com­po­nents — for Bom­bardier’s Global 5000 and Global 6000 busi­ness jets.

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The lat­est C Series deal comes as Bom­bardier pre­pares for the clo­sure of its sale of a ma­jor­ity stake in the C Series to ri­val Air­bus. Around 1,000 of Bom­bardier’s 4,000-strong work­force here work on the C Series wings.

A spokes­woman for Bom­bardier in Belfast said: “We are cur­rently fo­cused on clos­ing the part­ner­ship agree­ment with Air­bus.

“We will com­mu­ni­cate on that when ev­ery­thing is fi­nalised but mo­men­tum con­tin­ues to build with this lat­est or­der from air­Baltic, which is great news for us.”

The air­baltic deal is more good news for Bom­bardier af­ter it de­feated a US le­gal chal­lenge from ri­val Boe­ing ear­lier this year.

Bom­bardier said that based on the list price of the CS300 air­craft, the firm air­baltic or­der for 30 of the C Series is val­ued at ap­prox­i­mately $2.9bn (£2.2bn). That would in­crease to nearly $5.9bn (£4.5bn) should all 60 planes be pur­chased.

An­a­lyst Ad­di­son Schon­land of Airin­sight.com said the deal was a “tre­men­dous en­dorse­ment” and sig­nalled air­baltic’s grow­ing con­fi­dence in the nar­row-bod­ied pas­sen­ger jet.

Fred Cromer, pres­i­dent of Bom­bardier Com­mer­cial Air­craft, said: “This sig­nif­i­cant re­order from our CS300 launch op­er­a­tor is a strong tes­ti­mony to the air­craft’s ex­cep­tional in-ser­vice per­for­mance.

“Fur­ther­more, we are proud that the CS300 has helped air­baltic main­tain its po­si­tion as one of the world’s most punc­tual air­lines.

“The C Series air­craft is at the fore­front of the small sin­gle-aisle mar­ket and air­baltic played a key role in demon­strat­ing its value.

“In the last 18 months, we have wit­nessed air­baltic’s grow­ing lead­er­ship in the mar­ket, and we wish the air­line fur­ther suc­cess with its ex­panded CS300 fleet.”

Ac­cord­ing to re­ports in Canada, Bom­bardier signs were be­ing re­moved from the C Series assem­bly plant at Mirabel in Mon­treal at the week­end as the Air­bus deal en­tered its fi­nal stages.

One Cana­dian aerospace re­porter said C Series em­ploy­ees are now seg­re­gated from the rest of staff.

Mean­while, Bom­bardier un­veiled its new Global 5500 and 6500 at in­dus­try event EBACE in Geneva. It also an­nounced that the ex­ist­ing Global 7000 will be re­named the 7500.

As well as its work on the Global 5000 and 6000, Bom­bardier’s Belfast work­force also cre­ates com­po­nents in­clud­ing the com­pos­ite hor­i­zon­tal sta­biliser for the Global 7000.

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