Northern Ireland

Bombardier CSeries: Quebec government 'to invest in jet project'

Bombardier has spent £520m on a new factory in Belfast to build wings for the CSeries Image copyright Reuters
Image caption Bombardier has spent £520m on a new factory in Belfast to build wings for the CSeries

The provincial government in Quebec is poised to invest in Bombardier's troubled CSeries, according to reports.

The CSeries is a narrow-bodied passenger jet whose development has placed a major strain on Bombardier's finances.

Bombardier is based in Canada, but it is Northern Ireland's largest manufacturing employer.

Reuters news agency, citing unnamed sources, said it would form a joint venture with the Quebec government.

Such a deal would mean the government would fund half the final development costs of the jet, which is due to enter service next year.

Wing components

Reuters said the government investment could ultimately be as much as $1bn (£496m).

Any deal could be confirmed on Thursday when the firm publishes its quarterly financial results.

The report added that Bombardier will also cancel the development of its Learjet 85 business jet.

Earlier this year, it suspended the Learjet 85 programme due to a lack of demand for the plane.

The wings for the CSeries are made at Bombardier's Belfast plant, as are some wing components for the Learjet 85.

A Bombardier spokeswoman and Quebec's economy minister Jacques Daoust both declined to comment.

The CSeries problems have made it a very challenging two years for Bombardier.

There has been an overhaul in its top management team and even speculation that the entire commercial aircraft division could be put up for sale.

Earlier this year, the firm confirmed it held talks with rival Airbus about selling a stake in the CSeries.

About 800 Bombardier jobs in Belfast have gone within the past year, mostly among its contractor labour force.

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