Airbus partners Bombardier in C Series airliner program

Christian Scherer

Airbus SE and Bombardier Inc. have entered into a partnership to make C Series aircraft. The agreement sees Airbus acquire majority stake of about 50% in the Bombardier C Series program with the production of US-bound Bombardier C Series jets produced at the Airbus plant in Mobile, Alabama.

The statement issued by Airbus also confirmed that Production of all other C Series jets will remain in Canada.

In clear terms, Airbus will provide procurement, sales and marketing, and customer support expertise to the C Series Aircraft Limited Partnership (CSALP), the entity that manufactures and sells the C Series. At closing, Airbus will acquire a 50.01% interest in CSALP. Bombardier and Investissement Québec (IQ) will own approximately 31% and 19% respectively.

CSALP’s headquarters and primary assembly line and related functions will remain in Québec, with the support of Airbus’ global reach and scale. Airbus’ global industrial footprint will expand with the Final Assembly Line in Canada and additional C Series production at Airbus’ manufacturing site in Alabama, U.S. This strengthening of the programme and global cooperation will have positive effects on Québec and Canadian aerospace operations.

Airbus said it is strongly committed to Canada and its aerospace sector with Canadian suppliers extending their access to Airbus’ global supply chain. This new C Series partnership is set to secure jobs in Canada for many years to come.

“This is a win-win for everybody! The C Series, with its state-of-the-art design and great economics, is a great fit with our existing single-aisle aircraft family and rapidly extends our product offering into a fast growing market sector. I have no doubt that our partnership with Bombardier will boost sales and the value of this programme tremendously,” said Airbus Chief Executive Officer Tom Enders. “Not only will this partnership secure the C Series and its industrial operations in Canada, the U.K. and China, but we also bring new jobs to the U.S. Airbus will benefit from strengthening its product portfolio in the high-volume single-aisle market, offering superior value to our airline customers worldwide.”

“We are very pleased to welcome Airbus to the C Series programme,” said Alain Bellemare, President and Chief Executive Officer of Bombardier Inc. “Airbus is the perfect partner for us, Québec and Canada. Their global scale, strong customer relationships and operational expertise are key ingredients for unleashing the full value of the C Series. This partnership should more than double the value of the C Series programme and ensures our remarkable game-changing aircraft realizes its full potential.”

“The arrival of Airbus as a strategic partner today will ensure the sustainability and growth of the C Series programme, as well as consolidating the entire Québec aerospace cluster. In the current context, the partnership with Airbus is, for us, the best solution to ensure the maintenance and creation of jobs in this strategic sector of the Québec economy,” said Québec’s Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Economy, Science and Innovation and Minister responsible for Digital Strategy, Dominique Anglade.