Airbus and Bombardier are creating a partnership that will see both of them build, and market the C-Series, and build a second final assembly line in the US.
The frankly astounding announcement which had been cloaked in secrecy, was made late yesterday 16 October, will see Airbus own a 50.01% share in the C-Series Aircraft Limited Partnership (CSALP), which will manufacture and sell the C-Series, and Bombardier will own 31%, with Investissement Quebec owning 19%.
Airbus plans to provide procurement, sales, marketing, and customer support expertise.
C-Series assembly will remain in Quebec, Canada, while a second final assembly line would be established at Airbus’ final assembly plant in Mobile, Alabama, where Airbus now produces A320s for US airline customers. Being inside the US, the C-Series will avoid the duties Boeing has been campaigning to impose. Their reaction is that’s its Bombardier trying to get round the duties – which it is, just like the Airbus plant.
Airbus claims it sees a market for more than 6,000 new aircraft in the 100-150 seat segment over the next 20 years.
This is one in the eye for Boeing and no mistake, they’ll be hoping mad at being beaten over this as the entire point of their campaign was to kill off the C-Series.
The move secured 4,500 jobs at the wing manufacturing plant in Northern Ireland and thousands more in Canada.
There is more to the deal, Airbus will in effect have the right from 2023 to own the C-Series programme in its entirety if Bombardier and Quebec decided to sell their stakes.
Rumour has it that the A319 and A318 wil now be discontinued – orders are minimal, and the C-Series brought in to replace them. Airbus by all accounts, were more than aware that the aircaft completly trounced everything in its category and wanted it fulfill a market nice and improve their own technology.
Boeing reacted as you’d expect, refusing to ever acknowledge its back door assistance through defence technologies that it uses in the commercial sector, financed by US Government funding, and the vast tax breaks it gets from state governments for putting production facilities in their areas. It just called Airbus and Bombardier state subsidised, which is all it takes to rile US legislators. Sometimes I think people in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones.