Belfast Telegraph

Air Austral's Bombardier order good news for Belfast workers

Air Austral chose the A220-300 as part of the renewal of its medium and short-haul fleet.
Air Austral chose the A220-300 as part of the renewal of its medium and short-haul fleet.

An airline in the Indian Ocean has ordered three Airbus A220 aircraft, the wings of which are made by Bombardier in Belfast. 

Air Austral is the airline for France’s Reunion Island.  Bombardier employs around 3,600 people in Northern Ireland, including 1,000 working on the former C Series jets, which have been rebranded as the A220, after Airbus took on a majority stake in the series.

The complete wings and fuselage components for the jet are made within Bombardier in Belfast.  A value for the deal has not been revealed.

Christopher Buckley, executive vice-president commercial for Airbus, said: “With its unrivalled performance and operational flexibility, the A220 is the perfect aircraft for Air Austral to reinforce routes between Réunion Island and its neighbours in the Indian Ocean, as well as connecting the island further afield. 

“Airlines from all around the world are acknowledging the A220’s economics and it is a great honour that Air Austral will be the first A220 operator in the region.”

Marie-Joseph Malé, chief executive of Air Austral, said it had chosen the A220-300 as part of the renewal of its medium and short-haul fleet.

He added: “The economic and operational performance of the A220 opens new possibilities for the development of our regional network from our main base — Réunion Island — in an efficient and rational way.

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“The 132-seat capacity module, which is more flexible, will allow us to increase our frequencies while offering more comfort to our customers and crews,”, he added.

Bombardier’s Belfast and Morocco operations have been put on the market by their Canadian parent company, with US manufacturer Spirit AeroSystems regarded as the frontrunner to snap up the business. 

Belfast Telegraph Digital

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