Belfast Telegraph

Bombardier sales brings £25m cash injection to the economy

By Clare Weir

Plane-maker Bombardier has announced billions of pounds worth of aircraft sales as well as a £25m injection into the Northern Ireland economy as the company exhibits at the Paris Air Show.

Executive aviation company VistaJet has placed a firm order for 20 Challenger 350 jets and options for an additional 20.

Bombardier said it has also received firm orders for 12 Global 8000 business jets from an undisclosed customer and that Seattle-based Horizon Air has signed a firm contract to acquire three 76-seat Q400 NextGen turboprop airliners.

The airline also reconfirmed its options on another seven Q400 NextGen aircraft.

Bombardier's Belfast plant is responsible for the design and manufacture of a range of parts for both the Global and Challenger aircraft families, including fuselages, engine nacelles and other components.

Workers here are also responsible for the mid-fuselage and wing-mounted flight components on the Q400 NextGen regional turboprop.

Meanwhile the company has also announced that it has placed new business orders worth more than £25m with Northern Ireland suppliers in the last few months.

The new business comprises work on Bombardier's CSeries aircraft programme and other programmes, and includes component supply and provision of production-related equipment and services.

The component supply companies which have been awarded new business are JW Kane in Portadown, Moyola Precision Engineering in Castledawson, Maydown Precision Engineering in Londonderry, Dontaur Engineering in Ballymena and Vulcanium Metals located in Newtownards.

Equipment and service providers awarded business were Williams Industrial Services in Newtownabbey, Datum Design in Ballynahinch, H&J Martin, Belfast, UPVC of Belfast and Nulife of Dunmurry.

Many of the firms are hosting stalls at the industry spectacular at Le Bourget airfield.

Michael Ryan, vice-president and general manager of Bombardier Aerospace in Belfast, said that Northern Ireland has a solid aerospace cluster which can be developed further through the recently launched joint industry and government Aerospace Industrial Strategy.

"The strategy will enable companies to develop the new technologies, manufacturing processes and skills necessary for them to compete and win more new business, helping to grow the local aerospace sector." he said.

The VistaJet transaction for the firm aircraft order is valued at approximately $518m (£332m). If all the options are exercised, the total value of the order is approximately $1.035bn (£642m).

Last November, VistaJet placed an order for up to 142 Global business aircraft, the largest ever in Bombardier's history.

The Global 8000 deal is valued at approximately $804m (£516m).

Based on the list price of the Q400 NextGen aircraft, the Horizon Air contract is valued at $98m (£62m ).

The three new aircraft will increase Horizon Air's orders for Q400 and Q400 NextGen airliners to 51 aircraft -- which is the world's largest fleet.

Including the order announced today, Horizon Air has also placed an order for a total of 100 Bombardier Dash 8/Q-Series aircraft since 1985.

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