A deal slated to bring 600 jobs and another airline manufacturing facility to Mobile cleared another hurdle this week. A partnership between Airbus and Bombardier to build the Canadian company’s CSeries jets at a final assembly line at the Mobile Aeroplex at Brookley got a boost with a report that Boeing would not appeal a U.S. International Trade Commission ruling, which prevented the Commerce Department from moving ahead with punitive tariffs on the company’s goods.
In late January the ITC ruled Boeing had not been hurt by the Canadian government subsidizing the CSeries jets.
In a statement, Bombardier spokesman Simon Letendre called Boeing’s original argument “meritless,” adding it should never “have been bought.”
Letendre said the report of Boeing backing down would be good for the aerospace industry as a whole.
“We are happy that it has come to an end,” he said in the statement. “This is good news for the whole aerospace industry and the flying public, which will benefit from the most innovative commercial aircraft built in the last 30 years.”
With a threat from Boeing now apparently out of the way, Letendre said Airbus and Bombardier can work on finalizing the CSeries partnership, which should be accomplished by the end of 2018.
“Integration planning is going extremely well,” Letendre wrote. “Strong dedicated teams have been established to ensure that we are ready to hit the ground running once we close the transaction, including construction of the Alabama final assembly line as soon as possible.”
In late February, officials with Airbus and Bombardier met with reporters to discuss plans for the partnership and the second final assembly line at Brookley. At the time they cautioned that plans had yet been finalized. The new facility where the CSeries will be built once plans are finalized would help create 600 new jobs. That figure includes 400 jobs at the proposed CSeries final assembly line and roughly 200 jobs at the Airbus final assembly line once it expands to build more than four planes per month.
The officials felt confident the partnership could lead to greater U.S. sales for both companies as the single-aisle market expands. Atlanta-based Delta Air Lines has ordered 70 CSeries jets and worked with Airbus on its A320 line.
The CSeries final assembly line will stand parallel to the current Airbus final assembly line. The presence of a second final assembly line is also expected to attract more third-party suppliers.