Bombardier Shorts has welcomed news that Lufthansa has signed up as the launch customer for its new C-Series aircraft.
The Canadian-owned aerospace company said the German airline had signed a firm purchase order for 30 C-Series model CS100 planes, which will be operated by its subsidiary Swiss International Air Lines.
The contract for the 30 aircraft is worth around $1.53bn (£1.1bn), and includes options for Lufthansa to buy an extra 30 jets.
“This C-Series announcement is good news for the UK and Northern Ireland in particular, where we are developing and will produce the advanced composite wings,” said a spokesman for Shorts in Belfast.
“We currently have around 300 engineers involved in considerable research and development of the high technology wings. Some 800 jobs will be generated when the programme is at full production.
“The research and development as well as the manufacture of the advanced composite wings will take Belfast's considerable experience and capabilities in advanced composites to a new level.
“It will also be an ideal fit with the UK's wider strategic interests in aircraft wing technology.
The announcement follows Shorts’ announcement last month that it was laying off 300 temporary subcontractors due to an expected 10% decline in business jet orders.
It has cut the number of subcontractors in Northern Ireland to 600 from 900 as part of global staff reductions being made by its Canadian parent company to trim its total workforce by around 5%.
The firm said at the time it aimed to stabilise its permanent workforce by hiring temporary workers through third party contractors to cope with fluctuations in demand.
The company, whose vice-president and general manager is Michael Ryan, employs 5,300 staff at its plants in Belfast, Newtownards, Newtownabbey and Dunmurry.