Belfast Telegraph

Six-month delay on Bombardier's new jet 'won't affect Belfast plant'

By David Elliott

Production at Bombardier's Belfast plant won't slow despite news the Canadian aerospace giant is delaying the first flight and first delivery of its new CSeries jetliner by six months.

A spokesman for the company said such a delay isn't unusual and "doesn't make any difference to us in Belfast".

"When you've over 300 suppliers in the programme then there's always going to be a delay and three to six months isn't unusual. The company is pretty confident that we'll have the first CSeries jet in the air by June 2013."

The firm's Belfast plant makes the wings for the CSeries at its new Composite Wing Factory at its Titantic Quarter base after investing £520m. It's already delivered wings for a test airframe and once the facility is up to full capacity it will have created 800 new jobs. News that the first fully-finished aircraft has been delayed was said to have been widely expected within the industry and was revealed in the company's third quarter results when it showed profits of $212m (£133m).

The CSeries is said to be crucial to Bombardier as it brings the company into direct competition with the smaller jets made by its biggest rivals, Boeing and Airbus.

The Canadian company is the world's largest business jet maker but only third when it comes to overall jet manufacture

It's spending $2bn (£1.3bn) on the development of the CSeries around the world, with a sizeable chunk going to the Belfast plant.