London - Airbus considers acquiring Bombardier’s Belfast plant after the Canadian manufacturer announced that it is for sale.
Bombardier has been thinking for a while to offload its struggling Belfast plant. Early this month, the Canadian aircraft and train manufacturer finally announced that it decided to sell its facilities in Belfast, Northern Ireland.
Today, Airbus Chief Executive Guillaume Faury said they were considering a takeover offer for Bombardier's Belfast plant as an option, among other alternatives.
“We’ll be looking at it. We will make sure that whatever happens preserves our interest,” Guillaume Faury said during his visit to London.
The European aircraft manufacturer is the main customer of the Belfast operation, which produces wings for the joint A220 program of the Airbus and Bombardier.
Airbus acquired a majority stake (80%) in the Bombardier's CSeries program last year in July and rebranded it. In addition to the A220 wings, the plant also manufactures engine covers for the Airbus A320neos.
Airbus's boss has also said the plant could be run by a third-party supplier after it was taken over by the company.
“We think wings are very close to our own business. The production could be coming from suppliers if they are reliable and have a long-term perspective. These are the options we will be looking at,” Faury said
Airbus already has production bases in the U.K. Broughton factory in North Wales, which produces wings for most of the Airbus's commercial planes while Filton, near Bristol, is also a center for wing design and production.
Airbus's previous CEO Tom Enders had threatened the British government to move wing production out of the UK in case of a Hard-Brexit.