Airbus to enter into partnership with Canada's Bombardier

Agence France-Presse

Posted at Oct 17 2017 11:20 AM

A Bombardier C-Series aircraft is displayed at the Singapore Airshow at Changi Exhibition Center February 18, 2016. Edgar Su, Reuters/File Photo

PARIS - Airbus will take a majority stake in Bombardier's marquee C-Series airliner program, the companies announced Monday, as the Canadian firm battled against a stiff tariff ruling in the US.

The landmark agreement comes after the US administration slapped a 220 percent countervailing duty, as well as an 80 percent anti-dumping tax, on Bombardier CS100 and CS300 aircraft imported into the United States.

Boeing accuses Bombardier of manufacturing its 100-150 seat planes with public subsidies and selling them at a loss to Delta Air Lines.

The agreement between Airbus and Bombardier aims to allow for significant production savings on the C-Series aircraft and to make use of Airbus's international reach for sales, the 2 groups said in a statement.

The program's production headquarters will remain in Quebec.

Airbus will take approximately 50.01 percent of the shares in CSALP, the entity which manages the C-Series program, with Bombardier and Investment Quebec holding 31 and 19 percent respectively.

"It's a win-win deal for everyone," said the president of Airbus, Tom Enders.

"I have no doubt that our partnership with Bombardier will boost sales and the value of this program enormously."

Bombardier's CEO Alain Bellemare said: "We are very happy to welcome Airbus to the C-Series program."

"Airbus is the perfect partner for us, Quebec, and Canada," he added.

A deal between the 2 companies had been mooted previously but discussions stalled 2 years ago and the project was abandoned.

The C-Series is a state-of-the-art aircraft largely built from composite materials. It complements Airbus' medium-range carrier, the A320, which can carry some 140 passengers.

The US aerospace firm Boeing, claiming its competitor received unfair state subsidies, successfully petitioned the Trump administration to impose financial penalties on Bombardier to keep it from selling its C-Series planes in the massive US market.

In turn, Canada has voiced interest officially in some Australian military aircraft and called off discussions with Boeing on a possible purchase of 18 new Super Hornets. It intends to renew its fighter jets and is set to seek offers in 2019.

© Agence France-Presse