FARNBOROUGH: Challenges remain for Canada's aerospace sector – Flightglobal

Was Airbus taking majority ownership of the CSeries on 1 July good or bad for Canada’s aerospace sector? It depends if your pint glass is half full. The upbeat take on the deal is that the European manufacturer will secure the future of a clean-sheet programme that, while brimming with innovative technology, has struggled for orders in the 10 years since its launch – and safeguard tens of thousands of Canadian jobs.

Those of a half-empty persuasion will suggest Bombardier, and the Ottawa government, have been humiliatingly forced to sell the farm at a knockdown price after a failed attempt to break into the Airbus/Boeing duopoly.

There seems little doubt that the decision to set up the CSeries partnership – handing Airbus a free majority stake with no debt obligation – was the only way to save the Pratt & Whitney PW1500G-powered CS100 and CS300. The Quebec government had already bailed out the programme and deliveries this year had slowed to a trickle as Boeing lawyers challenged an order from Delta Air Lines in the US courts. Duopolies do not take kindly to interlopers and the chances of Bombardier struggling on alone were close to zero.

Get all the coverage from the Farnborough air show on our dedicated event page

So where does the Airbus deal leave the country’s aerospace industry? While the Beaudoin family and Bombardier’s other shareholders have been left with a 31% stake in the CSeries, that is better than 100% of potentially nothing. They also still control the rest of a still very much alive and kicking Bombardier. Aside from the rail transportation business, it now comprises the rump of the commercial aircraft division – the CRJ regional jet family and Q400 turboprop – and a business aviation arm consisting of the Learjet, Challenger and Global

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