BOMBARDIER SELLS CRJ AIRCRAFT PROGRAMME TO MITSUBISHI HEAVY INDUSTRIES

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MIRABEL, CANADA – Canadian aircraft manufacturer Bombardier sells its CRJ programme to Mitsubishi Aircraft Corporation from Japan. As a result, Bombardier will stop its commercial aircraft division completely.

The $550 Million deal is expected to close in the first half of 2020, but still has to be approved by the authorities, but no problems are expected in that area. In addition to the $550M, the Japanese will also take over $200M in financial obligations.

An Air Nostrum CRJ1000 landing at Toulouse-Blagnac Airport in France. The CRJ1000 is the latest variant of the successful CRJ (Canadian Regional Jet) Series, since Bombardier introduced the CRJ in 1992. The CRJ Series aircraft is the most successful family of regional jets. Photo: Flox Papa [CC BY 2.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)]

Mitsubishi will benefit from Bombardier’s global expertise in areas ranging from engineering and certification to customer relations and support, for the successful roll-out of their own SpaceJet programme, and potentially enabling the SpaceJet to be produced in North America.

The Aerostructures facilities in Northern Ireland and Morocco are not included in the deal, though it’s thought likely to divest these later. The Bombardier plant in Mirabel however, will not be taken over.

Bombardier will produce and deliver the last orders for the CRJ aircraft. The production of these aircraft will cease in the second half of 2020.

Bombardier has previously sold the Q400 program to Viking Air and the majority of the shares in the C-series program to Airbus. The CSeries has been renamed A220 by Airbus. Bombardier now wants to concentrate on manufacturing trains and business jets.

Bombardier’s CRJs have competed with Embraer, the Brazilian aircraft manufacturer. With the SpaceJet – the new name for the Mitsubishi Regional Jet – Mitsubishi is also developing a much more efficient alternative to the CRJ.

Financial problems
Partly due to setbacks in the CSeries programme, Bombardier ran into financial problems and on October 29, 2015 the Quebec government invested $1 Billion (roughly CAD $1.3B) to save the struggling CSeries and protect jobs.

As a result, there was no money to invest in the future of the Q400 and CRJ, with the result that these aircraft programmes were sold to Viking Air and Mitsubishi.

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(Top photo: Alan Wilson [CC BY-SA 2.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)])

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