Bombardier agrees new eight-year repair deal with airline from Oman
Airplane parts will be shipped between the Middle East and Northern Ireland under a new repair contract between Bombardier and a Middle Eastern airline.
The eight-year deal will see 300 Bombardier staff in Newtownabbey fixing Rolls-Royce inlet cowls for Muscat-based Oman Air's seven Airbus A330s.
The exact value of the deal has not been disclosed but it's understood to be worth several million dollars.
A spokeswoman for Bombardier said the faulty components will be shipped from Muscat to Belfast, repaired and then shipped back to the customer, a process taking up to 45 days.
Oman Air currently has a fleet of seven A330s, but that will increase to 10 next year. Bombardier has been designing, developing and manufacturing the inlet cowls for 20 years, which the company said had given it expertise in their repair.
Stephen Addis, general manager for Bombardier Aerostructures and Services in Belfast, said: "We are constantly drawing on our original equipment manufacturing expertise to engineer innovative repair solutions at our Belfast-based component, repair and overhaul (CRO) facility.
"This agreement with Oman Air illustrates Bombardier's commitment to expanding and developing our presence in the Gulf region, and our ability to support the growing aviation sector there," he added.
The CRO business is centred on Newtownabbey, on a site formerly occupied by telecoms company Nortel. The announcement came during the Dubai Air Show, where Enterprise Minister Arlene Foster said the announcement was evidence of the continued success of the company's CRO business.
"Bombardier has been providing a full range of maintenance support for more than 20 years in Belfast, and this announcement highlights their commitment to offering comprehensive aftermarket support solutions.
"It also endorses Bombardier Belfast's ability to offer local repair solutions at competitive prices to the company's growing customer base."
Last month Bombardier announced the creation of around 250 jobs in Belfast on a number of aircraft programmes.
Enterprise Minster Arlene Foster at the Dubai Air Show with Mike Arcamone, president, commercial aircraft Bombardier and Chet Fuller, senior vice president, commercial aircraft sales