The Air Current

UPDATE: The divestment of the Q400 program was announced by Bombardier Wednesday morning, confirming earlier reporting by The Air Current. Longview is acquiring the turboprop program for $300 million for its Viking subsidiary. The transaction is part of a continued strategic shift for Bombardier. Bombardier is also cutting 5,000 jobs and divesting its business aircraft flight and technical training activities to CAE for $800 million.

Bombardier is on the verge of announcing the full divestment of its Q400 turboprop program to fellow Canadian airplane manufacturer Viking Air Limited, according to two people familiar with the transaction.

The announcement is expected to proceed Bombardier’s quarterly earnings report on November 8.

Viking parent company Longview Aviation Capital is expected to be the acquiring entity.

The strategic move would mark the Canadian transportation company’s second major divestment this year. The company completed its deal with Airbus in July, handing 50.01% of the newly-rebranded A220 program to the European plane maker.

A Bombardier spokeswoman declined to comment. Viking Air’s leadership did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Related: Bombardier’s CEO on strategic survival and rising with Airbus

Bombardier’s CEO Alain Bellemare said in an interview with The Air Current at the Farnborough Airshow that the sale of the CRJ and Q400 programs was not the company’s focus for its commercial division. Instead, Bellemare said rebuilding the backlog was its chief priority.

As of the end of June 2018, Bombardier held outstanding orders of 56 aircraft.

Viking historically has become the home for unwanted Bombardier assets, acquiring DeHavilland turboprop and firefighting CL-415 programs from the Montreal-based plane maker. The Victoria, British Columbia company has had a knack for breathing new life into the aircraft.

Acquisition of the up to 86-seat commercial turboprop would mark a major strategic escalation for the company and its entry as a major player to supply regional aircraft to the world’s major airlines.

The divestment of the Q400 to Viking was rumored earlier this summer.

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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