Bombardier fights off competition and wins new Airbus contract
Bombardier's Northern Ireland workforce has fought off competition from European rivals to be selected by its new business partner Airbus to build engine nacelles for its latest line of aircraft.
It will supply a new engine nacelle programme for the Pratt & Whitney-powered A320neo family of passenger aircraft.
The nacelle covers and contains parts of the aircraft, including the engine.
The deal includes manufacturing a new thrust reverser, used to help stop an aircraft.
It's understood Bombardier fought off competition from other suppliers and manufacturers to secure the work.
Martin J Craigs, former Shorts/Bombardier marketing man, said it is "brilliant news" which will lead to years of servicing and future business.
The aerospace industry's maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) market is a lucrative area of business for suppliers. Bombardier is already a supplier to Airbus on a number of programmes.
Stephen Kelly, chief executive of Manufacturing NI, said: "Hopefully this Airbus contract is the start of much more to come as the relationship between both companies grows stronger.
"The Northern Ireland workforce has the skills, quality and experience to produce much more content both for Bombardier and indeed Airbus and it is clear that there is confidence in them.
"We would hope that further work could be devolved."
The Canadian-owned aerospace firm, which employs around 4,000 workers here, has now tied up a deal with Airbus in a bid to avert potentially hugely damaging tariffs on the sale of its C Series passenger planes to the US.
Stephen Addis, vice president, customer services and programmes, Bombardier Aerostructures and Engineering Services, said: "We are delighted to have been selected as a supplier on this new nacelle, which will enable us to build on the relationship we already have with Airbus."