Bombardier to make thrust reverser for Airbus family of aircraft
Unions still concerned at US threat to Belfast job from possible import duties
A team of Bombardier engineers in Northern Ireland will begin work shortly on the research and development phase of the engine nacelle programme
Bombardier’s Northern Ireland operation has won a significant project from Airbus to develop and manufacture a new thrust reverser for one of its single-aisle jetliners.
Bombardier is set to become a key supplier on a new engine nacelle programme for the Airbus A320neo family of aircraft which is powered by the Pratt & Whitney’s Pure Power PW1100G next generation engine.
The project will not create any immediate jobs or boost current staffing requirements at Bombardier’s Belfast operations because the thrust reverser is not scheduled for delivery for several years. However, a team of Bombardier engineers in Northern Ireland will begin work shortly on the research and development phase of the programme.
Bombardier, whose C Series family of aircraft also feature Pratt & Whitney’s PW1500 G engines, is an established supplier to Airbus, but its decision to award the thrust reverser project to Bombardier’s Northern Ireland operations helps underline the importance of a ground-breaking trade deal signed between Bombardier and Airbus just over two months ago.
The trade deal brought Bombardier and Airbus together as partners on the C Series aircraft programme, but Michael Ryan, president of Bombardier’s aerostructures and engineering services and in charge of its Northern Ireland operations, said at the time that the deal also represented an “opportunity” for Belfast to build on is existing supplier relationship with Airbus.
In Belfast on Monday, Stephen Addis, vice-president, customer services and programmes, Bombardier Aerostructures, highlighted how this was unfolding.
“This work package reinforces our long-term strategy to grow our capabilities in the nacelles market, and to focus on delivering innovative, higher-value products and services in an extremely competitive global environment.”
Meanwhile trade unions are continuing to highlight the threat to Bombardier workers in the North from the US department of commerce and its plans to impose import duties of 300 per cent on each C Series aircraft sold in the US. More than 1,000 people are employed specifically on the C Series programme in the North.
Workers and union leaders from Bombardier’s five production sites in Northern Ireland will gather at Belfast City Hall to ask councillors to back their campaign to safeguard local jobs.
The US department of commerce is expected to publish its final decision on the proposed tariffs on December 19th.