TOULOUSE, France – Planemaker Airbus and the government of Quebec, Canada, said Thursday they had reached a deal to buy Canadian plane and train maker Bombardier’s remaining A220 passenger jet program stake, of which the European aviation giant had assumed majority ownership in July 2018.
With transaction, in which Bombardier would receive $591 million – $531 million at the closing and the remaining over a year – Airbus would acquire a 75 percent stake in Airbus Canada, responsible for the production of A220s, while the remaining 25 percent would be owned by the government of Quebec.
“This agreement with Bombardier and the Government of Quebec demonstrates our support and commitment to the A220 and Airbus in Canada. […] This is good news for our customers and employees as well as for the Quebec and Canadian aerospace industry,” Airbus CEO Guillaume Faury said in a joint statement with Quebec and Bombardier.
Airbus would have the option of buying out the 25 percent stake owned by the Canadian state by 2026, three years later than the original plan, established when the European manufacturer first took control.
The deal, which would convert the 3,300 workers at the A220 plant in Canada into Airbus employees, excludes the rest of Bombardier’s aeronautical activities.
The deal comes amid a serious financial crisis for Bombardier.
The A220, initially manufactured only at Bombardier’s Mirabel complex in Quebec – now transferred to Airbus – would now also be assembled at an Airbus plant in the city of Mobile in the United States, which already assembles A320 series planes.
Since Airbus took control of the A220 program in July, orders have gone up by 64 percent, with a total of 658 units being ordered by January.
A220 planes come in two models (A220-100 and A220-300) and have between 100-150 seats according to the configurations, with list prices ranging from $80 million to $90 million per unit.
In 2019, Airbus delivered 48 units of the plane. Currently 107 units operate with seven clients in four continents.