Mitsubishi to acquire CRJ aircraft programme from Bombardier

25 Juin, 2019, 21:49 | Auteur: Auguste Feret
  • Bombardier exits commercial aviation with $550 million sale of regional jets to Mitsubishi

Bombardier is selling its CRJ program to Mitsubishi Heavy Industries for $550 million.

Mitsubishi will take over marketing, maintenance, support, marketing and sales from support facilities in Montreal and Toronto in Canada, plus Bridgeport, West Virginia and Tucson in the US. Bombardier will assume liabilities worth about US$400-million, including part of the so-called residual value guarantees on the planes.

The CRJ production facility in Mirabel, Que., will remain with Bombardier, which will also continue to supply components and spare parts.

The Japanese firm is trying to certify the plane, which has been delayed by several years with its first customer, ANA Holdings Inc, now expecting delivery in 2020 rather than in 2013 as originally planned.

"With our aerospace transformation now behind us, we have a clear path forward and a powerful vision for the future", Bombardier chief executive Alain Bellemare said in a statement. The CEO has said he believes those business lines have a higher growth and profit potential.

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The company confirmed its plans to sell the Belfast operation last month.

"It's just the final nail in the coffin of Bombardier commercial airplanes", he said of the deal. Divesting the business marks the end of 33 years of commercial aerospace history that began when the company bought Canadair from the Canadian government in 1986 for $120-million.

For the past five years, Embraer SA's E175 narrow-body aircraft has dominated the USA market, where the majority of regional jets are sold. The company never had sufficient resources to market and support the C Series aircraft and compete with giants Boeing and Airbus, according to trade publication Aviation Week.

Along with of the sale of its Northern Ireland operation, the offloading of the CRJ programme represents Bombardier's gradual exit from commercial aviation.

The CRJs are small and narrow regional jets seating between 50 and 104 passengers with a maximum range of roughly 3,000 kilometres. The CSeries, rebranded as the A220, are larger planes that can fly twice that distance and designed specifically for the 100 to 150-seat market.

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