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Airbus set to announce sale of A220 aircraft to Air Senegal

Aerospace giant Airbus is expected to reveal a preliminary order from Air Senegal for eight Airbus A220 aircraft, the wings of which are made in Belfast by Bombardier, .

Air Senegal is close to securing a preliminary order for the Airbus SE A220-300 narrow-body jets, valued at about $732m (£565m) at list prices, according to Bloomberg.

While Bloomberg reported that a deal had not yet been reached, it is understood that Airbus will confirm it today.

State-owned Air Senegal wants to build a regional hub near Dakar, the African nation's capital and hopes the new planes will advance this.

The new national airline replaced Senegal Airlines after it was closed by the government in 2016 for taking on too much debt.

Airbus purchased the A220 programme last year from Canada's Bombardier Inc and had an order backlog that stood at 436 planes in October.

The A220-300, which can seat up to 145 passengers, is smaller than Airbus's flagship A320neo narrow-body, which seats up to 180.

Bombardier announced last month that it had agreed to sell its Northern Ireland operations as part of a deal worth around $1.1bn (£850m).

The deal with Spirit Aerosystems also included Bombardier's business in Casablanca, Morocco and its maintenance, repair and overhaul facility in Dallas in the United States.

In addition to $500m (£386m) in cash, the purchase includes the assumption of liabilities valued at more than $700m (£541m).

The aircraft manufacturer employs around 3,600 people in Northern Ireland and has owned the former Shorts factory in Belfast since 1989. Spirit Aerosystems has worked with Bombardier on their Airbus A220 aircraft - back when it was known as the C Series - since 2009.

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