Airbus now holds 75% of the A220 program. As a result of Bombardier backing out of the program, the European manufacturing giant now owns the A220 program alongside the Government of Quebec.
The Airbus A220 was initially known as the Bombardier C-Series. However, when Airbus took a 51% stake in the program in July 2018, it was renamed as the Airbus A220. Last month Simple Flying reported that Bombardier was looking to reassess its A220 deal with Airbus. Then, last week we reported that Airbus could take Bombardier’s stake in the A220. It seems as though the rumors were true, as today the news was confirmed.
The largest change is that Bombardier will no longer be involved in the Airbus A220 program. According to Airbus, the company has transferred its remaining interest in Airbus Canada to both Airbus and the Quebec Government.
As a result, Airbus Canada is now wholly owned by Airbus and the Government of Quebec. While the government holds 25% of the entity, Airbus’ share has increased to 75%. The manufacturer has said that this will secure 3,300 jobs at Airbus Canada in Quebec. Bombardier will receive a consideration payment of $591 million with regards to the transaction.
What has changed under Airbus?
It seems as though adding the Airbus name to the aircraft has seriously increased interest in it. According to the manufacturer, orders have increased by 64 percent in the past year and a half. They now stand at 658 aircraft across both the A220-100 and A220-300. Additionally, just this morning startup Green Africa announced a memorandum of understanding for 50 Airbus A220-300 aircraft.
While carriers such as airBaltic are looking to exclusively move to the A220, other major carriers such as Air France are also placing serious orders for the type. However, there are also a number of American carriers with A220 orders including David Neeleman’s Breeze. Airbus has, as such, begun manufacturing the Airbus A220 at its Mobile plant too.
Speaking of the new agreement, Airbus CEO Guillaume Faury said: “This agreement with Bombardier and the Government of Québec demonstrates our support and commitment to the A220 and Airbus in Canada. Furthermore, it extends our trustful partnership with the Government of Québec. This is good news for our customers and employees as well as for the Québec and Canadian aerospace industry,”
While the Government of Quebec still maintains a 25% stake in Airbus Canada, one day Airbus could purchase this share. However, this is not possible until 2026, a date three years later than had been originally planned.
What do you make of this latest transaction? Was it the right thing to do? Let us know your thoughts in the comments!