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Europe’s Airbus to buy majority stake in Bombardier CSeries program


In a blockbuster announcement for the aerospace industry, European aerospace giant Airbus Group is buying a majority stake in Bombardier’s CSeries program.   The two aircraft manufacturers announced the partnership Monday evening, calling it a win-win situation for both parties.   The news comes weeks after the United States announced 300 per cent tariffs on exports of the aircraft following a complaint from rival Boeing.
The partnership brings together two complementary product lines, with 100-150 seat market segment expected to represent more than 6,000 new aircraft over the next 20 years.
The CSeries headquarters will remain in the Montreal area but a second assembly line for the 100- to 150-seat plane will also be established at the U.S. Airbus facility in Mobile, Alabama.
“Airbus is the perfect partner for us, Quebec and Canada,” said Bombardier CEO alain Bellemare in a statement. “This partnership should more than double the value of the CSeries program and ensures our remarkable game-changing aircraft realizes its full potential.”   Officials from Bombardier said this would not have any negative impact on aerospace jobs in Quebec.   The final assembly of the CSeries line of aircraft currently takes place at the Bombardier facilities in Mirabel.   The partnership is expected to result in significant CSeries production costs savings by leveraging Airbus’ supply chain expertise.
Airbus will acquire a 50.01 per cent interest in the CSeries Aircraft Limited Partnership (CSALP), which manufactures and sells the plane.   Bombardier will own 31 per cent, while the Quebec government’s investment agency will hold 19 per cent — a drop from the 49.5 per cent stake it had held before the deal.
Federal Economic Development Minister Navdeep Bains issued a statement after the Airbus announcement, saying he would review the sale by an international buyer.   “Proposed investments of this kind require the government to consider whether they are in the national interest.   The Airbus deal, like all significant proposed investments in Canada by non-Canadians, is subject to the Investment Canada Act-an act which I oversee,” he said.   “In my review, I’ll be looking to see how this deal will benefit Canadians, support our aerospace sector and create good jobs.”
Quebec’s minister of the economy, Dominque Anglade, reacted positively to the news.   “In the current context, the partnership with Airbus is, for us, the best solution to ensure the maintenance and creation of jobs in this strategic sector of the Quebec economy,” she said.   The Quebec company has faced cash-flow problems in recent years, prompting Quebec’s pension plan to purchase a large stake in the company’s train division, while the government also invested in the CSeries.   Anglade, said Quebec is open to recouping its investment.
“When there was investment made by the government of Quebec initially in the CSeries.    We said that we were looking for another partner.    We’ve always said that, it was very open. In anything that we would be looking at any proposal, we would look at the number of employments.    Number one is the number of jobs that we have in Quebec, and to make sure that we maintain the environment for the aerospace industry,” said Anglade.   “If you look at the numbers in the aerospace industry right now they’re pretty good.    Actually there are a lot of things happening in the aerospace industry in Quebec and we want to maintain that.”   She said, however that Bombardier could not count on getting more cash from government.
“I think we’ve done enough for the aerospace industry,” said Anglade when asked if Bombardier would get more money from government.   The government invested US$1 billion in 2016 for a 49.5 per cent stake in Bombardier’s CSeries commercial jet program.   Anglade said Monday she welcomes news that other players might be interested in investing in Bombardier.   Bains told reporters at the same event Ottawa has shown a long-standing commitment to the aerospace sector.
The long legal battle ahead is also expected to cut into Bombardier’s cash flow, as it was counting on selling 75 CSeries jets to Delta airlines.   Delta has said it wants those jets, and that it won’t pay the punitive duties demanded by the U.S. government.
The U.S. Dept. of Commerce has imposed two sets of duties totalling more than 300 per cent on Bombardier’s CSeries following a challenge from Boeing, an American company which never tried to sell planes to Delta.

WestJet launches Montreal-Boston


New non-stop flight brings low fares and competition to route

CALGARYOct. 15, 2017 /CNW/ – WestJet today announced the start of service between Montreal and Boston. The inaugural flight from Montreal Trudeau International Airport arrives at Boston Logan International Airport this morning, marking the last of three new routes launched by WestJet from Montreal this year.
“WestJet has significantly expanded its service to, from and within the province of Quebec in 2017,” said Brian Znotins, WestJet Vice-President, Network Planning, Alliances and Corporate Development.    “This expansion demonstrates our commitment to bring lower airfares to communities across Canada and create new opportunities for business and leisure travellers to get more value for their travel budgets.”
“I would like to thank WestJet for their confidence in us and for their support,” said Philippe Rainville, President and CEO of Aéroports de Montréal.    “Boston is a popular destination for our passengers, who travel there both for business and leisure.    The addition of two flights per day enhances the departure options from Montréal and offers greater flexibility.    This is great news for Montréal and confirms Montréal-Trudeau’s position as a hub.”
“With several different destinations to choose from, Boston Logan has become a terrific gateway for those traveling to Canada,” Massport CEO Thomas P. Glynn said.    “We are pleased that WestJet is adding twice daily flights to Montreal to our roster, providing even more options for our customers to enjoy Canada.”
WestJet began point-to-point service for the first time within the province of Quebec on June 15, 2017, with four daily flights between Montreal and Quebec City.    In addition, the airline launched twice-daily service between Montreal and Halifax on March 15, 2017.    With the addition of WestJet’s new services, the airline now operates an average of 167 weekly departures from Montreal.
All three new routes are operated by WestJet’s regional airline, WestJet Encore, and its fleet of Canadian-made Bombardier Q400s.    Proud to support this iconic Canadian company, WestJet flies the fourth largest fleet of Q400s in the world.    By mid-2018, the regional airline will have a total of 45 aircraft.

Centennial College tops off new Centre for Aerospace and Aviation at Downsview Park


TORONTOOct. 11, 2017 /CNW/ – Centennial College topped off its Centre for Aerospace and Aviation under construction at Downsview Park today.    Students, staff, dignitaries and guests were on hand to sign a steel I-beam before it was hoisted and incorporated into the new hangar that forms the central feature of the rejuvenated former headquarters of de Havilland Canada.
The $72-million project includes the hangar, which is large enough to accommodate today’s commercial jets, as well as new classrooms, laboratory space, workshops, offices and a library.    The campus is slated to open in the fall of 2018, and will have access to working runways for the first time.
Centennial currently trains about 300 aircraft and avionics technicians at its Ashtonbee Campus hangar in Scarborough.    The 138,000-square-foot Centre for Aerospace and Aviation will have enough instruction space to accommodate 900 students annually.    The project, led by MJMA | Stantec (Architects in Association), involves repurposing the historic de Havilland building, located at 65 Carl Hall Road, with selective demolition and new construction.
The Canadian government contributed $18.4 million in Strategic Investment Funds towards the new campus, and the Ontario government provided $25.8 million.    The project is seen as the first step towards creating an aerospace training and research hub for the development of new technologies in Ontario – an ambitious goal that was first outlined in the 2012 review of the Canadian aerospace industry by the Honourable David Emerson.
Centennial’s newest campus will anchor the Downsview Aerospace Innovation and Research (DAIR) consortium, which is working to maintain Canada’s ranking as a major aerospace supplier to the world.    DAIR brings together academic and industry partners, including the University of Toronto Institute for Aerospace Studies, Ryerson UniversityYork University, Bombardier, Safran Landing Systems, MDA and others.
The de Havilland site is renowned for having built the Mosquito, a light bomber that was one of the fastest aircraft of the Second World War, able to attain 425 miles per hour at 30,000 feet.    It was one of the few front-line aircraft of the era constructed almost entirely of wood, primarily balsawood, spruce and Canadian birch.    De Havilland Canada’s 7,000 employees assembled 1,134 of the remarkable “Mossies” on the site to help in the war effort.

Daily Service from Billy Bishop Airport to Three New Ontario Cities


Travellers Can Access Kitchener-Waterloo, London and Barrie in as few as 18 Minutes with new Commuter Service from Downtown Toronto Airport

TORONTOOct. 10, 2017 /CNW/ – Travellers will soon be able to connect from downtown Toronto to Kitchener-WaterlooBarrie and London, Ontario, in as little as 18 minutes with the addition of three new routes operating from Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport (Billy Bishop Airport).
Three additional destinations, offered through partner FlyGTA, will begin daily scheduled round-trip service this fall according to an announcement made today.    Round-trip flights will depart Billy Bishop Airport from Hangar 6, just west of the main terminal building, for Kitchener-Waterloo and Barrie beginning November 6, with London flights commencing in December.
“The new flight routes announced today further connect Toronto to key markets which is great for our economy in terms of facilitating connections that fuel tourism and business,” said Councillor Michael Thompson, Ward 37, Chair of the Economic Development Committee, City of Toronto.    “We are particularly excited about the daily service to Kitchener-Waterloo airport which supports our domestic technology corridor by offering an 18-minute flight between the two cities, and provides US businesses with a convenient and efficient connection between such markets as New York and Kitchener-Waterloo through Toronto.    Billy Bishop Airport is an important gateway for Toronto and a key piece of travel infrastructure that is needed to support Toronto’s growth and place as a world-class city.”Wa
“Located less than three kilometres from downtown Toronto, Billy Bishop Airport has become an important gateway for businesses who need quick access to other markets,” said Gene Cabral, Executive Vice President, Billy Bishop Airport and Ports Toronto.    “With service to more than 20 destinations through our main terminal and connections to additional Ontario markets through our hangar facilities with partners such as FlyGTA, Billy Bishop Airport is about connecting Toronto to the world and working within a broader Southern Ontario Airport Network to ensure the travel needs of the region are met.    We are very pleased that our service offering continues to grow and congratulate FlyGTA on its new services.”

Media Invitation – Centennial College tops off new Centre for Aerospace and Aviation at Downsview Park


TORONTOOct. 5, 2017 /CNW/ – Centennial College is celebrating the topping off of its new Centre for Aerospace and Aviation at Downsview Park on Wednesday, October 11 at 10 am.
Students, staff, dignitaries and guests will be on hand to sign a steel I-beam before it is hoisted and permanently placed in the new hangar that forms the central feature of the rejuvenated former headquarters of de Havilland of Canada, an indelible part of Canada’s aviation history.
The $72-million project includes the hangar, which is large enough to accommodate today’s commercial jets, as well as new classrooms, laboratory space, workshops, offices and a campus library.    Centennial currently trains about 300 aircraft technicians and avionics technicians annually at its Ashtonbee Campus in Scarborough.
Downsview Campus will house an innovation and research working group that brings together industry leaders and academic partners, including the University of Toronto Institute for Aerospace Studies, Ryerson UniversityYork University, Bombardier and others. The campus will anchor the Downsview Aerospace Innovation and Research (DAIR) consortium, which is working to maintain Canada’s fifth-place ranking as a major aerospace supplier to the world.