The Air Current

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– Bombardier’s CEO said the partnership with Airbus doubles the expected sales for the A220’s business case.
– “We are not selling the CRJ or the Q[400 programs],” said Bellemare. But he leaves the door open for future transformation.

FARNBOROUGH — Three years into his tenure as Bombardier’s CEO, Alain Bellemare is taking a breather on a massive strategic overhaul of the Canadian transportation giant. For now.

The Air Current sat down with Bellemare at the Farnborough Airshow last week and the company’s top executive said the moves of the last three years – including an industry re-shaping partnership with Airbus – have stabilized Bombardier as stakeholders have different seat at the table.

“Clearly we were working on a path to make [the C Series] work,” said Bellemare. “But it was challenging. Airbus is shifting it and taking all the uncertainty out of the equation and…giving the program certainty for years to come. That is a big deal. Removing the unknown.”

Bellemare said through its partnership with Airbus and Quebec, the creation of the C Series Aircraft Limited Partnership (CSALP) has reshaped the future business case for the 100 to 150-seater, while providing social stability for its workforce and government leaders in Quebec and Northern Ireland. Investissement Quebec holds a 16% stake in the partnership.

“We’re probably going to be producing two times as many [A220] aircraft than we were planning on a standalone basis,” said Bellemare of the partnership and divestiture of 50.01% of the A220, formerly the C Series, to Airbus. “This was the right strategic action.”

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Jon Ostrower is Editor-in-chief of The Air Current. Prior to launching TAC in June 2018, Ostrower served as Aviation Editor for CNN Worldwide, guiding the network's global coverage of the business and operations of flying. Ostrower joined CNN in 2016 following four and half years at the Wall Street Journal. Based first in Chicago and then in Washington, D.C. he covered Boeing, aviation safety and the business of global aerospace. Before that, Ostrower was editor of the award-winning FlightBlogger for Flightglobal and Flight International Magazine covering the development of the Boeing 787 Dreamliner and other new aircraft programs from 2007 to 2012. Ostrower, a Boston native, graduated from The George Washington University's School of Media and Public Affairs with a bachelor's degree in Political Communication. He is based in Seattle.

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