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The Bombardier C Series is now officially owned by Airbus. Bombardier and Airbus each announced Friday morning the closing of the acquisition of the C Series program by Airbus. This development comes sooner than previously anticipated and likely bodes well for the Canadian plane’s sales future, in advance of the Farnborough Air Show in July. Air shows like Farnborough are a traditional venue for the announcement of large aircraft orders.
The definitive agreements were executed late last night. In a joint statement followed by a conference call before markets opened, the parties noted that regulatory approvals had been received and the deal will close July 1.
According to the release, these are the main points of the agreement:
- Airbus to acquire majority stake in the C Series Aircraft Limited Partnership, effective July 1, 2018
- All regulatory approvals required for the closing of the transaction have been obtained
- Partnership head office, leadership team and primary final assembly line located in Mirabel, Québec (representing some 2,200 employees and subcontractors), with the support of the C Series global supply chain
- Partnership brings together two complementary product lines, with 100-150 seat market segment projected to represent 6,000 new aircraft over the next 20 years
- Addition of Airbus’ global reach to create significant value for C Series’ customers, suppliers, employees, shareholders and communities
- Significant C Series production efficiencies anticipated by leveraging Airbus’ production ramp-up expertise
- Growing market for C Series to support second Final Assembly Line in Alabama, serving US customers
As previously announced, the C Series Partnership CEO will be Philippe Balducchi, former head of performance management for Airbus Commercial Aircraft. On the call, Balducchi noted the partnership projects 6,000 aircraft sales for the 100 to 150-seat market, bringing the Airbus “firepower” to the partnership.
Balducchi did not comment on the potential renaming of the aircraft. Speculation has been rife that the jet could be re-baptized according to the Airbus naming convention.
Airbus Chief Executive Officer Tom Enders said in the release: “[…]The strength of the entire Airbus organization will be behind the C Series. Not only will that enable this outstanding aircraft to fulfill its market potential, but we are convinced the addition of the C Series to our overall aircraft product offering brings significant value to Airbus, our customers and shareholders.”
The Canadian planemaker delivered 17 aircraft in 2017, and according to the company, anticipates doubling production in 2018. Delta is anticipated to take delivery of the CS 100, the smaller of the two variants, in late 2018. The larger CS 300 seats around 140 people.
Featured image of the Bombardier CS airplanes courtesy of Bombardier
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