Airbus and Bombardier have joined forces in a merger that’s likely to shake up the entire aviation industry.
In an almost-bailout for Canadian plane manufacturer Bombardier, Airbus has bought a majority stake in the company’s C-Series program – though for no money in that majority stake. Bombardier has been struggling for a while, “propped up by Canadian taxpayers,” reports The Register. Canadian Bombardier jobs will remain in Canada, and the company’s UK jobs will stay in the UK.
The deal might mean some turbulence in the global aviation industry itself. Neither Airbus nor Boeing have been competing in Bombardier’s space, building regional aircraft that hold from 100 to 150 passengers. Brazil is already firmly in the market with its Embraer jet, and China and Japan aren’t far behind with regional jets of their own.
Airbus and Bombardier will profit off of one another’s global scale and supply chain, causing potential strife among airline rivals. The Register believes this will lead to court disputes, as Boeing has already taken Bombardier to court for a trade dispute and Bombardier believes US taxes aren’t fair. Airbus has also complained that Boeing is getting state aid unfairly for the company’s 777x aircraft.
But meanwhile, before any court battles ensue, Airbus has now, with this deal, emerged as a leader in the aviation industry. The company now owns planes that can seat anywhere from 100 people up to 800. The company will hit another milestone soon as well: the first flight of its more fuel-efficient A330neo aircraft thanks to design tweaks and new engines.