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Old 17th October 2017, 10:16 PM
Rowan McKeever Rowan McKeever is offline
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Default Airbus acquires majority stake in Bombardier CSeries program

Announced a few hours ago and, I think, not terribly surprising, is that Airbus will acquire 50.01% of Bombardier’s CSeries program.

Some of the highlights include:
* CSeries program will remain headquartered in Montréal, Canada, and the majority of manufacturing will continue there.
* CSeries bound for US carriers/customers will be built at Mobile, Alabama, alongside A320 family aircraft.
* Airbus will look to improve the efficiency of CSeries manufacturing using its extensive supply chain experience.
* Both manufacturers see the CSeries and A320neo/A321neo programs as highly complimentary.

There are a number of unanswered questions, to my mind, including:
* Does this spell the end of the A319neo which, as far as I can work out, currently has a grand total of exactly zero orders? (I imagine this is a ‘yes’).
* Likewise, will this put to bed the rumours of a CS500 (stretched version of the CS300)? (I imagine this, too, is a yes).
* To what extent is this move intended to help Bombardier (and Delta) avoid, or minimise exposure to, the ~300% tariff the US is expected to apply to all CSeries aircraft exported to the US? Is it likely this will be successful?
* Will the ability to offer the CSeries and A320neo/A321neo together as an ‘extended family’ (and particularly if there was any avoidance of the expected tariff) lead to orders from the likes of JetBlue?
* Could this move pave the way for similar investments in other Bombardier programs, such as CRJ or Dash 8? (Unlikely, at best, is my suspicion).

Last edited by Rowan McKeever; 17th October 2017 at 10:44 PM.
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Old 19th October 2017, 01:28 PM
Rowan McKeever Rowan McKeever is offline
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Having (finally) had time to trawl through the 900+ posts on this matter over at another forum, a few key themes:

* very little discussion about the A319neo (which, despite what I posted on Tuesday night, does in fact have 51 orders) except to say that the CS may now be dangled in front of Avianca and Frontier in order to cancel the A319neo completely;
* while Boeing seems set in its belief that the tariff would still apply to CS delivered to US carriers/customers, even from the Mobile site, most (like myself) are of the opinion this is not the case - DL falls on the latter side of that argument;
* within the details of the linked press release, Airbus will have options of various kinds to buy both Bombardier and IQ (Quebec Government's investment corporation) out of the CS program completely from 2023;
* CS500 probably more likely now than before and will be positioned as a similar-capacity but different capability offering compared to the A320neo (which some think may be slightly stretched and re-winged);
* Airbus is very interested in some of the CS technology, including the wing, and will incorporate some of that technology into its future projects.

Plenty of discussion around what Bombardier stands to gain from this transaction, with opinions ranging from Bombardier being the big loser in the whole thing all the way to this being a very positive outcome for them.

Finally, there's been quite a bit of discussion around which airlines would be (more) likely to order CSeries in light of this partnership. jetBlue is perhaps one of the most obvious, but others include IAG, the Lufthansa Group, Scandinavian Airlines and American Airlines. Of course, our own Qantas Group has also been suggested given we know them to be considering in advance the eventual replacement of the B737, B717 and F100.
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