Airbus will close the deal with Bombardier to take over control of the Canadian company’s CSeries program on July 1. The two companies wrapped up negotiations over revenue sharing and the structure of the company that will build the aircraft. Airbus will assume 51 percent of the CSeries Aircraft Limited Partnership and provide procurement, sales and marketing services for the single-aisle airliner. Airbus’s involvement is expected to boost confidence among potential customers for the highly regarded but slow-selling aircraft.
Airbus originally became involved when the U.S. Commerce Department approved crushing import duties on the aircraft, citing alleged subsidies by the Canadian government. The duties would have killed one of Bombardier’s biggest deals for the plane, a 75-unit sale to Delta. It also would have prevented access to the American market. Airbus offered to build CSeries for the American market at its Mobile, Alabama, plant to get around the duties. That issue went away when the U.S. International Trade Commission rejected the tariffs, ruling Boeing would not be harmed by CSeries. Airbus and Bombardier decided to continue with the acquisition. The headquarters for the program will stay at the Mirabel Airport near Montreal but a production line will be built in Mobile, with the first aircraft to be delivered in 2020.