Boost for Belfast as Bombardier lands €5.8bn deal
BOMBARDIER AEROSPACE has landed its largest business aircraft deal for a potential 275 business jets worth a possible total value of $7.3 billion (€5.84 billion).
NetJets, a company that specialises in fractional aircraft ownership, has placed an order with Bombardier for 100 Challenger business aircraft.
The order is worth about $2.6 billion based on 2012 list prices.
In addition to the firm order, NetJets, which is owned by Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway, has signed a long-term aftermarket support agreement with Bombardier on the back of the deal.
NetJets, which has one of the largest private aircraft fleets in the world, has also taken an option for an additional 175 Bombardier aircraft.
According to Montreal-headquartered Bombardier Aerospace, if all the options are exercised, the total value of the aircraft order is in the region of $7.3 billion, based on 2012 list prices.
The support agreement between the two groups will run for up to 15 years and is valued at up to $2.3 billion.
This brings the combined sale and aftermarket agreement to a total $9.6 billion if all options are exercised.
The multibillion-dollar deal will deliver a major boost for Bombardier’s Belfast operations.
A spokesman for Bombardier Belfast said: “The announcement of this NetJets order – the largest business aircraft sale in Bombardier’s history – is very welcome and is a huge vote of confidence in Bombardier, our employees and the Challenger aircraft family.
“The order will help to sustain jobs in our Northern Ireland operations.”
The order comprises 75 Challenger 300 Series aircraft, with deliveries scheduled to begin in 2014, and 25 Challenger 605 Series aircraft, with deliveries scheduled to begin in 2015.
The Belfast facility is responsible for the design and manufacture of the centre fuselage and engine nacelles for the Challenger 605 aircraft, and the centre fuselage for the Challenger 300 business aircraft.
Commenting on the order, Bombardier Business Aircraft president Steve Ridolfi said: “We are very proud that, once again, NetJets has selected Bombardier aircraft to grow and support the expansion of its fleet worldwide.
“We are convinced that the Challenger jets will complement NetJets’ existing fleet perfectly. After selecting our Global aircraft last year, this new order is a fantastic endorsement of Bombardier’s large cabin product portfolio.”
The North’s Enterprise Minister, Arlene Foster, said she believed the contract was good news for the North’s entire aviation sector.
“Bombardier is a major employer in Northern Ireland and this announcement is a significant and welcome boost to the local economy,” she said.
“Bombardier’s agreement with NetJets is a tremendous endorsement of the technological expertise and capability available in Northern Ireland and signals the continued success of this multinational corporation.”