Northern Ireland

Bombardier boosted by Macquarie AirFinance jets order

Bombardier plant in Belfast Image copyright PAcemaker
Image caption Bombardier is one of Northern Ireland's biggest employers

Bombardier's C-Series aircraft programme has been boosted by one of its biggest orders to date.

Forty of the jets will be bought by leasing company Macquarie AirFinance in a deal worth about $3bn (£1.84bn), based on current prices.

The company has an option to buy 10 more.

Bombardier now has 243 firm orders for the C-Series, edging closer to the company's target of 300 by the time the plane enters service in late 2015.

The wings for the aircraft will be made in Belfast, supporting 800 jobs.

The C-Series programme has experienced repeated delays and rising costs that have worried investors.

Test flights resumed in September after an on-ground engine fire halted them in May.

The aerospace company is one of Northern Ireland's biggest employers.

About 5,000 permanent employees and about 1,000 temporary and contract staff work at its Belfast base.

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