Boost for Belfast with £400m deal for 16 Bombardier jets
Planes part-made by Bombardier in Belfast have been purchased in a deal worth more than $727m (£400m).
An unnamed customer has bought 16 Bombardier CRJ900 NextGen regional jets with options for eight additional aircraft.
The firm's Belfast staff work on the design and manufacture of the complete centre fuselage, nacelles and wing components for the regional jet.
The value of the order could increase to $1.12bn (£650m) if the extra planes are acquired.
Including this latest order, Bombardier has recorded firm orders for 1,833 CRJ Series aircraft, including 359 CRJ900 and CRJ900 NextGen aircraft.
Ray Jones, senior vice president of sales, marketing and asset management with Bombardier commercial aircraft, said that the CRJ900 was the most cost-efficient jet aircraft in its class.
"With the most recent enhancements to the aircraft, we have raised the bar on performance once again, making it the ideal tool for operators to develop new markets and increase frequencies." he said.
News of the order comes as research indicates that the UK aerospace sector is growing 10 times faster than the rest of the economy.
The figures from the aerospace, defence, security and space trade body ADS Group showed that the current aircraft order backlog has hit a new high and is estimated to be worth £150bn to the UK.
The Aerospace Industry Outlook said that the sector was directly employing 109,100 individuals, 3,300 of which are apprentices and trainees, and supporting many thousands of in related sectors.
By 2032 it is estimated that more than 29,000 new large civil airliners, 24,000 business jets, 5,800 regional aircraft and 40,000 helicopters will be required.
Business Secretary Vince Cable said that the UK aerospace sector was a global success story.
"Our industrial strategy is ensuring that Britain is well-placed to capitalise on the huge growth anticipated in the aerospace sector, securing highly-skilled jobs for the UK and a strong economy for the future," he said.
Across the world, CRJ Series aircraft are in service with more than 60 airlines and more than 30 customers operate corporate variants of the aircraft.
The aircraft are operating in more than 50 countries on six continents, and on average, a CRJ aircraft takes off every 10 seconds somewhere in the world.
CRJ Series aircraft have transported 1.4 billion passengers and have logged more than 38 million flight hours and over 32 million takeoffs and landings.