Belfast Telegraph

Bombardier's landmark Asian airline deal given UK Export Finance backing

By Andrew Madden

The Government has announced that it will be backing a "landmark contract" between Bombardier and Korean Airlines for the sale of two of their C Series aircraft.

UK Export Finance (UKEF), the UK's export credit agency, will be supporting the deal, which was originally struck in 2011 and marks the first sale of Bombardier's C Series aircraft to an Asian airline.

The wings and parts of the fuselage of the C Series are made at Bombardier's site in Belfast, and the aerospace firm employs around 4,000 workers in Northern Ireland.

In 2011, Bombardier Aerospace announced that Korean Air signed an agreement to acquire 10 CS300 aircraft, with an additional 10 options and 10 purchase rights on CS300 airliners.

Baroness Fairhead, the Minister of State for Trade and Export Promotion, said: "The UK is at the forefront of the civil aerospace industry, and I am delighted that the department for international trade is backing this landmark contract, which will support the global success of Bombardier's C Series programme and its operations in Northern Ireland.

"This represents a double-first - it is the first time that UKEF has supported a C Series aircraft sale from Bombardier, who are a major investor and employer in Northern Ireland, and it is the first sale of the C Series to an Asian airline."

UKEF worked in partnership with Canadian export credit agency Export Development Canada (EDC) to provide Korean airlines with financing to support the sale of two C Series aircraft.

UKEF also provided reinsurance support to EDC for the UK elements of the aircraft.

Michael Ryan, president of aerostructures and engineering services at Bombardier, said: "We are very proud to have secured our first C Series aircraft sale to an Asian airline, and with the backing of UK Export Finance and Export Development Canada look forward to building on this success."

In January, Bombardier won a US trade dispute, potentially securing the jobs for thousands workers in Northern Ireland.

Members of the US International Trade Commission (ITC) voted in favour of Bombardier at a meeting in Washington.

Bombardier has been locked in a transatlantic trade war with US rival Boeing.

It revolved around its part-Belfast made C Series passenger jets, which Boeing claimed were being sold at below cost and being fuelled by government subsidies.

The US Commerce Department had planned to impose duties of 292% on imports of Bombardier's C Series commercial jets to America - a move rejected by the ITC.

Belfast Telegraph

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