In a shocker of an announcement this evening, Airbus and Bombardier announced that Bombardier’s C-Series will be built in Airbus’ Alabama facility.
In a partnership dubbed ‘C-Series Aircraft Limited Partnership’, a second final assembly line for the C-Series operated by Airbus will compliment the existing production taking place in Quebec. Airbus will also market the aircraft on behalf of Bombardier.
In their comments, Airbus stated that it is a perfect combination of their global reach and Bombardier’s cutting edge technology for short and medium haul aircraft. Airbus will have a 50.1% stake in the operation, with Bombardier’s share being approximately 31 percent and Investissement Quebec getting the other 19%.
This comes at an interesting time for Bombardier whose US-based customers (primarily Delta) were facing stiff 300% tariffs for any Bombardier aircraft that they would purchase as a result of a Boeing complaint filed with Washington DC claiming unfair subsidies for Bombardier from the Canadian government.
With this announcement, it appears that everyone including President Trump and his position as it relates to NAFTA along with Bombardier and Airbus will be able to claim victory from their respective perspectives.
Bombardier and Airbus both denied that politics had anything to do with this, but I find that hard to believe especially when you consider the timing of this announcement and how quickly the partnership was assembled.