Airbus will buy a 50% share in Canada’s Bombardier’s C Series airliner program.
Since the beginning of October the US Department of Commerce has imposed a cumulative 300% tax on Bombardier’s C-Series aircraft. The biggest order for the C-Series is by the US airline Delta, which has ordered 125 aircrafts.
This is the first Airbus takeover outside Europe. For the Canadian company that means putting Airbus muscle and capital behind its sales and trade war with Boeing.
Airbus is planning to move an assembly line of the C-Series from Montreal to Alabama, potentially easing a confrontation with US trade authorities. At the same time, the European behemoth gains shares in an aircraft that is unmatched in its category by either Airbus or Boeing.
Boeing has accused Bombardier of benefitting from UK and Canadian subsidies to develop its Aircraft. The takeover means that Airbus steps into the trade battle between Bombardier and Boeing just as the UK stands to lose over 1,000 out of a total 4,000 jobs in Bombardier’s plant in Belfast, Northern Ireland. That adds a new dimension in Brexit talks, just as the UK is considering how to unbundle its value chains, underpinned by the ecosystem of a Single European Market.