Bombardier is getting out of the commercial aerospace business | Urbanized

Andrew Cummings
February 16, 2020

The Montreal-based company is said to be negotiating with Airbus to sell its share in the Airbus Canada Limited Partnership.

Airbus's share in the A220 program jumps to 75 percent, up from about 50 percent, while the province of Quebec will see its ownership go to 25 percent from 16 percent.

Bombardier sold its Belfast operation to USA company Spirit AeroSystems a year ago and a spokesperson for the firm said the "Airbus A220 programme's new ownership structure has no impact on our Belfast site's wing manufacture and assembly for this aircraft". The company's net income fell from a $318 million profit past year to a loss in 2019 of $1.6 billion.

"We are looking at our options".

Bombardier is getting out of the commercial aerospace business | Urbanized

"The CSeries was a cash drain, ' Bombardier chief executive Alain Bellemare said on February 13".

"The strategy was always to exit commercial aircraft", said Bellemare on Thursday, who took the helm five years and one day earlier. The deal will secure more than 3,300 Airbus jobs in Quebec, the companies added.

David Chartrand, Quebec co-ordinator for the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers, deemed the deal "the best scenario under the circumstances".

"We are committed to this fantastic aircraft programme and we are aligned with the government of Quebec in our ambition to bring long-term visibility to the Quebec and Canadian aerospace industry".

"We are equally proud of the responsible way in which we have exited commercial aerospace, preserving jobs and reinforcing the aerospace cluster in Québec and Canada".

Multiple reports have suggested that France's Alston is in talks to purchase Bombardier's rail division for just under US$7 billion.

Three major rating agencies have voiced concerns this year over the finances of the firm, which acknowledged last month it is looking to lighten its massive debt load.

"The agreement will allow Bombardier to improve its financial situation and Airbus to increase its presence and footprint in Quebec", he said in a release.

While its business jets are now at full production, analysts highlight the cyclical luxury market of private planes in comparison to the relatively stable field of rail auto and network construction, which is fuelled by government infrastructure projects.

Get the business news and analysis that matters most every morning in our Star Business email newsletter. On the heels of suggestions that Bombardier bizjet division could end up with Textron, it has divested itself of the A220 airliner program that it shared with Airbus.

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