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Airbus backs Bombardier’s C-Series

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European manufacturer takes controlling stake in project
Airbus is to buy a controlling stake in Bombardier’s C-Series aircraft project – and is paying nothing for it.
The deal could allow the struggling Canadian manufacturer to get around tough US trade penalties, while at the same time giving Europe’s Airbus a new ally in its long-running battle against Boeing.
The deal will preserve jobs and industrial operations in Canada, the UK and China, Bombardier and Airbus promise, while also bringing jobs to the US by adding production at Airbus’ factory in Alabama.
Airbus will take a 50.01% stake in Bombardier’s C-Series Aircraft Limited Partnership, with Bombardier keeping around 31% and Investissement Québec 19%.
Airbus will use its strength in procurement, sales and marketing to drive demand for Bombardier aircraft, which are highly regarded for fuel efficiency but which have struggled to secure orders. SAS, among others, has a fleet of Bombardier jets.
“This partnership should more than double the value of the C-Series programme and ensures our remarkable game-changing aircraft realise its full potential,” said Alain Bellemare, chief executive of Bombardier.
Airbus CEO Tom Enders added: “I have no doubt that our partnership with Bombardier will boost sales and the value of this programme tremendously […] Quite a few potential C-Series customers held back because they were not entirely sure of the future of this programme going forward.”
FT

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