Bombardier and Airbus expect their C Series partnership to take effect by mid-year. (Photo: Bombardier)

C Series Partnership Progressing 'Faster Than Expected'

Airbus and Bombardier expect to consummate their planned C Series partnership “faster than expected,” and transfer a majority stake in the program to the European airframer by mid-year, according to an internal memo seen by BJT sister publication Aviation International News that names the entity’s new leadership team. The companies have chosen current Airbus Commercial Aircraft head of performance management Phillipe Balducci as CEO of the new division, while current head of the A380 final assembly line in Toulouse, Florent Massou, heads the C Series program. Current C Series program head Rob Dewar becomes head of customer support and head of engineering.  

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In a separate memo, Bombardier outlined its successorship plan for its regional aircraft business, confirming that Bombardier Commercial Aircraft president Fred Cromer will continue to head that division.

Airbus agreed to take a majority stake in the Bombardier C Series program under the terms of a contract signed last October. Under the deal, Airbus will take a 50.01 percent stake in the C Series Aircraft Limited Partnership (CSALP), while Bombardier and the Quebec provincial government retain 31 and 19 percent, respectively.  

CSALP’s headquarters, primary assembly line, and related functions will remain in Qu├ębec, expanding Airbus’s industrial footprint with the final assembly line in Canada and C Series production at Airbus’s manufacturing site in Mobile, Alabama.

“The plans for our partnership with the C Series Aircraft Program are progressing well,” said one memo signed by Airbus CEO Tom Enders and Bombardier CEO Alain Bellemare. “The approval process is moving ahead faster than expected and as a result, the transaction is set to conclude by the middle of this year. We all know that the C Series is a remarkable aircraft, and we are looking forward to unleashing its full value through our partnership."

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