Wednesday, April 1, 2020

The aerospace firm, Bombardier, is putting its Belfast operation up for sale as part of a reorganisation of the business.

The company, which also has factories in Morocco, is selling its entire aerostructures operation.

The Canadian aircraft manufacturer employs about 4,000 people across several locations in Northern Ireland.

The company said it would be working closely with employees and unions, through any future transition period.

In a statement, Bombardier announced the “strategic formation of Bombardier Aviation, consolidating all aerospace assets into a single, streamlined and fully integrated business”.

“As a result, Bombardier will pursue the divestiture of its Belfast and Morocco aerostructures businesses.”

The statement added: “Our sites in Belfast and Morocco have seen a significant increase in work from other global customers in recent years.

“We are recognised as a global leader in aerostructures, with unique end-to-end capabilities – through design and development, testing and manufacture, to after-market support.”

It said Bombardier was committed to finding the right buyer.

It added: “There are no new workforce announcements as a result of this decision.

“But our management team will continue to drive ongoing transformation initiatives to improve productivity and increase our competitiveness, to give more weight to our unique value proposition to potential buyers.”

Last November, Bombardier said it was to cut a further 490 jobs from its Northern Ireland operations.

Analysis: John Campbell, BBC News NI economics and business editor

It is not yet clear who could buy the operation, but it may be attractive to global engineering firms who are major aerospace suppliers.

Bombardier employs almost 4,000 people across its Northern Ireland operations, making it the region’s biggest manufacturing employer.

There have been several rounds of job losses in recent years.

The company said there would be no further job cuts at this time.

It is understood that business secretary Greg Clark spoke to the representatives of the company before the announcement was made.

A Government spokesperson said that it was disappointed that Belfast was no longer a part of Bombardier’s future.

Bombardier, which is based in Montreal, has more than 68,000 employees in 28 countries.

Last year it posed it posted revenues of $16.2 billion US (£14.2bn)

Articles and pictures by BCC


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