Airbus SA and the government of Québec reached a new shareholding and capitalization program for the limited partnership that controls the Airbus A220 program, deferring until 2030 the OEM’s total buyout of Québec’s minority stake and committing a total of $1.2 billion in new investment. Airbus will invest another $900 million and Québec will invest $300 million in the Airbus Canada Limited Partnership.
The new deal could allow Québec to recoup its investment in the program, which is not yet profitable, and will allow Airbus time to continue optimizing production program and consolidating the supply-chain costs. According to reports, Airbus does not expect the A220 program to achieve profitability until 2025.
The A220 is a twin-engine, narrow-body aircraft available in two variants (a smaller, business jet version has been proposed too) developed by Montreal-based Bombardier Inc. and Québec. With a range of 6,390–6,670 km (3,970–4,144 miles), the A220-100 carries up to 108 passengers, and the A220-300 seats up to 130.
The aircraft are assembled at Airbus plants in Montreal and Mobile, Ala.
In July 2018 Bombardier sold a majority stake in the program (then known as the C-Series) to Airbus, giving the latter a new range of aircraft to compete in what was at that time an emerging commercial aerospace sector – long-range regional service. It was expected that Airbus’ more substantial purchasing power would help to reduce supply-chain costs and expand the promotion and service advantages with commercial airlines.
Two years ago Airbus SA, Bombardier Inc., and Québec agreed on terms for Airbus to acquire a 75% stake in the program, establishing the Airbus Canada Limited Partnership, with Quebec raising its holding from 19% to 25% - and effectively ending Bombardier’s presence in the commercial aircraft market.
Since the C-Series’ introduction in 2016, a total of 668 C-Series/A220 jets have been ordered and 193 are in service. Delta Airlines is the largest operator, with 51 A220s in service and 44 more to be delivered.