Belfast Telegraph

Bombardier's new hub takes off

By Clare Weir

Planemaker Bombardier, which has a large operation in Belfast, has opened a new regional support office and parts depot in Johannesburg, South Africa.

More than 240 Bombardier business and commercial jets are based in Africa.

Bombardier Aerospace announced in June that Lagos-based Arik Air has signed a firm contract to acquire three CRJ1000 NextGen aircraft and four Q400 NextGen turboprop airliners.

Based on the list price of the CRJ1000 NextGen and Q400 NextGen turboprop aircraft, the contract is valued at approximately £189m. Arik Air currently operates four CRJ900 aircraft and two Q400 NextGen aircraft.

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

Bombardier now has five regional support offices and 11 parts facilities across the world.

The agreement which is expected to take effect by late August, will see Ethiopian Airlines provide maintenance services for Bombardier's growing fleet of Q400 and Q400 NextGen turboprop aircrafts in Africa.

Earlier this year, Bombardier Aerospace began to transfer component work on its regional jets to a temporary plant in Morocco.

The employees will initially make flaps and ailerons, a part of the wing of the CRJ jet, work that was previously done in Northern Ireland.

The transfer of the package to Morocco was aimed at freeing up floor space for production of wings for the new CSeries craft in Belfast, which were designed, invented and are being built in the city. The first CSeries test flight is expected to take place at the end of the month.


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Belfast Telegraph