Monday 26 October 2020 2:38 pm

Bombardier Belfast deal to complete this week

A $1.2bn (£900m) deal for Bombardier’s Belfast facility will complete this week, a year after it was first announced.

Kansas-based Spirit Aerosystems will purchase the Canadian firm’s Northern Irish unit – the largest employer in the region – along with facilities in Morocco and Texas.

Read more: Alstom reduces offer for Bombardier rail unit by $350m

It now expects cash proceeds of $275m, 45 per cent lower than was previously estimated.

Wings for Airbus’ A220 jet are made at the plant, which is one of Northern Ireland’s biggest high-tech manufacturers.

When the deal was first struck critics bemoaned it as another blow to British manufacturing in the build up to the UK’s departure from the EU.

But with the onset of the coronavirus pandemic, it is hoped that the acquisition will help protect jobs in the aviation industry.

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Trade body ADS welcomed the move, saying that it was “great to see” Spirit Aerosystems committing to the UK. 

“The completion of the sale of Bombardier’s Belfast facility to Spirit Aerosystems this Friday is great news for their highly skilled workforce, the aerospace supply chain in Northern Ireland and the entire UK aerospace industry”, said chief exec Paul Everitt.  

“The Belfast facility is a centre of excellence for aerospace and is home for the award winning resin-infused advanced composite A220 wing.

“Being one of the largest aerostructures businesses in the world, Spirit Aerosystems will be a great partner for the facility and will help open up new opportunities across the world.”

Read more: Bombardier warns over 400 job cuts at Belfast plant

Back in June Bombardier warned that it might have to make up to 400 job cuts at the 3,600-strong Belfast facility due to the pandemic, which has sent aircraft manufacturing plummeting.

This morning ADS revealed that no commercial planes had been ordered in September, after the worst quarter on record.