It seems that Airbus and Bombardier are partnering up to deliver the C Series programme, with Airbus taking a 50.01% share in the programme.
It seems Airbus will provide procurement, sales and marketing, and customer support to the C Series Program.
Assembly of the C Series will be primarily based in Quebec, with an additional assembly line at Airbus’ manufacturing site in Alabama, U.S.
Airbus Chief Executive Officer Tom Enders is excited about the move, stating:
“This is a win-win for everybody! The C Series, with its state-of-the-art design and great economics, is a great fit with our existing single-aisle aircraft family and rapidly extends our product offering into a fast growing market sector. I have no doubt that our partnership with Bombardier will boost sales and the value of this programme tremendously,”
“Not only will this partnership secure the C Series and its industrial operations in Canada, the U.K. and China, but we also bring new jobs to the U.S. Airbus will benefit from strengthening its product portfolio in the high-volume single-aisle market, offering superior value to our airline customers worldwide.”
Meanwhile, Alain Bellemare, President and Chief Executive Officer of Bombardier Inc. states:
Airbus is the perfect partner for us, Québec and Canada. Their global scale, strong customer relationships and operational expertise are key ingredients for unleashing the full value of the C Series. This partnership should more than double the value of the C Series programme and ensures our remarkable game-changing aircraft realizes its full potential.”
Meanwhile, Boeing popped out this wonderfully terse statement:
Statement on Airbus/Bombardier pic.twitter.com/AJ9jWze6dw
— The Boeing Company (@Boeing) October 17, 2017
Let’s take a step back. Whilst the C Series has had some major set backs (especially with the trade war that is flaring up), fundamentally – it’s a great product.
For Airbus, it’s also an important step – let’s be honest – sales of the A319neo and A319 have been poor with a backlog of 24 A319s, and a poor showing of 54 A319neo aircraft on the order book.
We’ve seen airlines scale up to use larger aircraft as they seek to transport people for lower costs. However, there is a gap in the 100-150 seat market that is good for exploitation.
And as usual – it’ll be the mission these aircraft will be used for that will dictate its need. With the flexibility of the type being used for long and thin missions (such as airBaltic’s plans to fly the type to Dubai) to regional settings where a normal narrow-body is too large (such as Swiss International Airlines operations), the type is flexible to adapt to the need.
Make no mistake, with Airbus in the front seat of the C Series programme – there will be changes ahead that can only be positive for it.
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