05 June 2019 by Max Kingsley-Jones Seoul, FightGlobal.com
Mitsubishi is expected to announce the acquisition of the CRJ programme from Bombardier at this month’s Paris air show in a move which will bolster its global footprint.
The Japanese company confirms it is in negotiations for the 50-100 seat regional jet programme, but says that no decision has been made and declines to comment on the content of discussions.
FlightGlobal understands that Mitsubishi is finalising negotiations with a likely announcement to be made at the Paris air show. The move will signal the end of Bombardier’s participation in commercial aircraft manufacturing. It will leave the Canadian manufacturer free to focus on its business-aircraft activities.
Mitsubishi produces the MRJ regional jet, a rival to the CRJ. Bombardier and Mitsubishi are currently in a dispute with the Canadian company alleging theft of trade secrets related to CSeries certification and Global 7000 systems.
The Japenese company currently has a long-standing contract with Boeing for the US manufacturer to provide customer support for the MRJ regional jet. A 10-year partnership for round-the-clock customer support was agreed back in 2011. However, with Boeing having now forged a tie-up with Mitsubishi rival Embraer in the commercial aircraft sector, observers say that the Bombardier CRJ deal could help the Japanese company establish an independent footprint for support.
Bombardier has recently stated it would explore strategic options for the CRJ Program. From time to time, this may lead to discussions with potential counterparties. While Bombardier does not generally comment publicly on market speculation or rumors, in light of recent media reports, Bombardier believes it is prudent to advise stakeholders that it is in discussions with Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Ltd. with respect to its CRJ Program. We will not further comment on the nature of the discussions. Before any agreement can be reached further review and analysis by Bombardier management and approval by Bombardier’s Board of Directors are required, and Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Ltd. must complete its due diligence review and own analysis and approval process, which are outside of Bombardier’s control. There can be no assurance that any such discussions will ultimately lead to an agreement.
Customer support team for the Q Series Aircraft Program will be located alongside longstanding customer South African Express Airways and close to O.R. Tambo International Airport
Customer support team for the CRJ Series Aircraft Program will continue to support its customers in its current location
April 23, 2019 Toronto Commercial Aircraft, Press Release
Bombardier Commercial Aircraft announced today that it will relocate its Q Series aircraft regional support team from Lanseria International Airport to Airways Park, close to O.R. Tambo International Airport. This move will co-locate the regional support team for the Q Series aircraft with Bombardier’s longstanding customer, South African Express Airways. The CRJ Series Aircraft Program will maintain support to the region from its current location in Johannesburg, South Africa.
The regional support teams serve fleets of approximately 170 Dash 8/Q Series turboprops and about 70 CRJ Series regional jets in Africa and the Middle East. The relocation of the team supporting the fleet of Q Series aircraft will facilitate faster response times by team members when they need to travel to support customers and operators throughout the region.
Bombardier Commercial Aircraft has recorded firm orders for more than 1,300 Dash 8/Q Series and 1,900 CRJ Series aircraft, and the worldwide fleet is supported by teams in Africa and the Middle East, along with teams based in Canada (headquarters), Australia, Germany, India and Japan.
“We have enjoyed a 25-year relationship with Bombardier from the inception of South African Express until the present day. We are therefore delighted that Bombardier is positioning its Q Series aircraft regional support team to work more closely with our team at Airways Park, as well as with their other customers operating from O.R. Tambo International Airport,” said Siza Mzimela, Chief Executive Officer, South African Express Airways. “We’re confident that the proximity to our team and our hub will augment our operation and that we will benefit from Bombardier’s expertise as we work to further optimize the efficiency of our fleet and enhance our passengers’ experience.”
“The relocation of our Africa and Middle East Q Series regional support team is another step in our ongoing efforts to enhance our accessibility and support to customers and operators in the region,” said Todd Young, Vice President and General Manager, Head of Q Series Aircraft Program, Bombardier Commercial Aircraft. “O.R. Tambo International Airport serves as the primary airport for travel to and from South Africa, so it fits with our strategy to position our regional support teams where they are best able to offer timely support before, during and beyond an aircraft’s entry into service.”
“Our regional support teams provide quick-response problem solving, engineering expertise and tailored plans to meet our customers’ business plans,” said Charles Comtois, Head of CRJ Series Aircraft Program, Bombardier Commercial Aircraft. “Regional support team members also act as conduits to connect our customers to our extensive global network of Service Centres, Authorized Service Facilities, Parts Depots and Training Facilities.”