Struggling Bombardier has divested itself of its minority share of the Airbus A220 program, moving it another stop closer to leaving aviation altogether. On the heels of suggestions that Bombardier bizjet division could end up with Textron, it has divested itself of the A220 airliner program that it shared with Airbus. Airbus and the government of Quebec now have sole ownership of the program. The deal, reportedly worth $591 million, leaves Airbus with a 75 percent share of the business, and preserves some 3,300 jobs in Quebec. Just more than 100 A220s have been delivered against an order book of 658, mostly made up of the larger A220-300 variant.
“I would like to sincerely thank Bombardier for the strong collaboration during our partnership,” said Airbus CEO Guillaume Faury. “We are committed to this fantastic aircraft program and we are aligned with the government of Quebec in our ambition to bring long-term visibility to the Quebec and Canadian aerospace industry.”
The A220 started as the Bombardier C Series, launched in early 2007. Bombardier sought additional funding from the government of Quebec in 2016 and eventually sold a slim majority share (just over 50 percent) to Airbus in 2017.
The program sale follows months of financial bloodletting at Bombardier, as its aviation and rail divisions have seen dramatic shortfalls. It’s likely that the bizjet division will be next on the block.