Airbus to invest up to $1.4-billion in A220 passenger jet program this year

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ALLISON LAMPERT, MONTREAL, REUTERS – FEBRUARY 20, 2020

Quebec Premier Francois Legault, left, and Airbus CEO Guillaume Faury take a tour of the Airbus A220 assembly line in Mirabel, Que., on Feb. 20, 2020.GRAHAM HUGHES/THE CANADIAN PRESS

Airbus SE plans to invest between 500 million euros and 1 billion euros (C$715-million and C$1.43-billion) this year on its A220 passenger jet program, chief executive Guillaume Faury said on Thursday at the company’s A220 factory in Mirabel, just outside Montreal.

Earlier in February, Airbus raised its stake in the A220 program – known as Airbus Canada – to 75 per cent from 50.1 per cent after teaming up with the government of the Canadian province of Quebec to buy Bombardier’s 33.5 per cent stake.

With the deal, Bombardier exited the civil aviation industry and bolstered the European planemaker’s position in its ongoing competition with U.S. rival Boeing Co.

The A220, previously known as the C Series, is a 110-130 seater aircraft, a little smaller than Airbus’s mainstay A320 jet.

Airbus has been ramping up production of the A220 towards its maximum monthly capacity rate of 10 at its facility in Mirabel and to a monthly rate of four in Mobile, Ala., targets it hopes to reach by the middle of this decade.

Production in the United States has become more important for Airbus since the U.S. government slapped tariffs on jets made in Europe for purchase by U.S. airlines following a years-long tariff dispute.