Investment of $1bn in jet boosts Bombardier in Belfast

Partnership deal between firm and Quebec government should help secure 5,000 NI jobs

Bombardier’s C Series 100 aircraft which the company hopes will take a sizeable share of the global passenger airliner market. Photographer: Patrick Doyle/Bloomberg

Bombardier’s C Series 100 aircraft which the company hopes will take a sizeable share of the global passenger airliner market. Photographer: Patrick Doyle/Bloomberg

 

The Quebec government is to invest one billion US dollars in development of a next generation jet part-produced in Northern Ireland. Bombardier employs more than 5,000 people in the North and has large premises in east Belfast where it makes the C Series wings.

Bombardier is Northern Ireland’s largest manufacturing employer but there has been uncertainty over the production of a narrow-bodied passenger aircraft known as the C Series.

It is headquartered in Montreal, Quebec, in Canada’s southeast, but many jobs in Belfast rest on the success of the enterprise.

C Series aircraft

The Quebec government has conditionally agreed to buy a 49.5 per cent equity stake in a limited partnership established to complete the C Series programme.

“Today, we are proud to announce that the government of Quebec will invest one billion dollars in the C Series aircraft programme. This partnership comes at a pivotal time, with the C Series on the verge of certification,” said Alain Bellemare, president and chief executive of Bombardier.

“The market is there . . . we are ready to make this aircraft a commercial success.”

The investment has been approved by Bombardier’s board of directors and the Quebec government but remains conditional upon the completion of definitive agreements, internal reorganisation, regulatory approvals and other conditions.

A Bombardier statement noted: “The proceeds of the investment will be used entirely for cash flow purposes of the C Series programme.”