View Full Version : Bombardier to sell off Belfast site

2nd May 2019, 11:20
News just filtering through the neighborhood and on SoCal media that Bombardier about to off load Belfast

2nd May 2019, 11:55
This is terrible news. Parts of the press release from Bombardier:
"Bombardier (TSX: BBD.B) announced today its financial results for the first quarter of 2019, in line with the preliminary results published on April 25, 2019. The Company also announced that it will consolidate its aerospace assets into a single, streamlined, and fully integrated Bombardier Aviation business unit, which will be led by David Coleal.“We are very excited to announce the strategic formation of Bombardier Aviation,” said Alain Bellemare, President and Chief Executive Officer, Bombardier Inc. “It is the right next step in our transformation. The consolidation will simplify and better focus our organization on our leading brands, Global, Challenger, Learjet and the CRJ. It will also allow us to better support our customers and generate value for shareholders.”“With our clear vision for the future of Bombardier Aviation, we will focus our aerostructures activities around our core capabilities in Montréal, Mexico and our newly acquired Global 7500 wing operations in Texas,” Bellemare continued. “Collectively, these facilities provide Bombardier with all the skills, technologies and capabilities to design, produce and service the current and next generation of aircraft.”As the Company moves to optimize its global manufacturing footprint, Bombardier will pursue the divestiture of the Belfast and Morocco aerostructures businesses. These are great businesses with tremendous capabilities."

2nd May 2019, 15:12
This does rather sound as though Bombardier is washing its hands of the A200 series (formerly C-Series) range.

Alpine Flyer
2nd May 2019, 15:46
At least sounds like they want to sell it as a going concern, not close it. How attractive this might be for potential buyers is probably influenced by whatever Brexit arrangements will eventually apply to Northern Ireland.

2nd May 2019, 16:11
Who is going to buy it? Airbus? Boeing? It's quite likely some of it will be sold. But I imagine most jobs will go.

Bombardier say they're selling it but realistically they don't want the political fall out of closure. A bit like Honda.

Another Brexit 'dividend'.?

The Ancient Geek
2nd May 2019, 16:27
The Belfast site builds structures for Airbus and several others. No shortage of work so it will most likely be snapped up by Spirit Aerosystems or another tier one supplier.
There is no reason to believe that the factory will do anything other than keep building structures under a different owner.

2nd May 2019, 16:53
They make the wings for the A220-100 and A220-300 there, and development of the A220-500 wing. The -500 wing is rumored to be used to upgrade the A320neo as well.

With that sort of tooling and backlog, it wont shut down.

The plane-and-train maker said it would unite its corporate and regional jet units into one aviation division while selling off two aerostructures operations including a wing-making facility in Belfast.


Loose rivets
2nd May 2019, 17:36
Popping into Belfast City several times a week, I saw Shorts taken down, and a huge B starting the new sign. And I mean, HUGE.
Soon there was BO, then BOM, onto BOMB . . . and then they went home for the weekend.

You just couldn't make it up.

2nd May 2019, 19:34
Airbus will do a deal for it

2nd May 2019, 20:23
Airbus will do a deal for it
​​​​Airbus may well do a deal if the Bombardier owned bonding technology for the A220 series wings is included, this is a very valuable IP asset. However, whether acquired or licensed it is easily transferable. Thus, the site is not secure and, if it becomes external to EU, will be very vulnerable to wing production loss. That would be a major negative blow to NI.

2nd May 2019, 20:30
Airbus is already having it own share of Brexit problems with its Wales sites ... not sure they want to double up by taking over a North Ireland site.

2nd May 2019, 20:32
Airbus will do a deal for it
If it remained in the EU! Not a certainty. NI wanted to stay. Not their choice.

2nd May 2019, 20:58
AB seems to really want to consider them a Tier 1 supplier. They also make wings for more than the CSeries.

ATC Watcher
2nd May 2019, 21:27
Airbus has declared (last February i believe) that in case of a hard Brexit ( i.e without a customs union deal) they will move their UK production plants into France and Germany.

2nd May 2019, 21:42
Airbus has declared (last February i believe) that in case of a hard Brexit ( i.e without a customs union deal) they will move their UK production plants into France and Germany.
Enough said.

Of course if NI merged with the the RoI, mischief mode enabled. It would remain in the EU.

Just saying.

Funny how things work out.

3rd May 2019, 02:17
Interesting composite stuff:

As part of the wing research and development program, Bombardier’s Belfast operation has developed an innovative Resin Transfer Infusion (RTI) technology to manufacture the large one-piece wing skins and structural spars for the wing torque box. It has manufactured and assembled a pre-production demonstrator wing, which has been successfully tested to ultimate load, replicating 150 per cent of the most severe forces the wing is ever likely to experience in service.

Several local Northern Ireland companies have been engaged in the production of the demonstrator wing, in addition to the local firms involved in the design, construction and equipping of the new wing facility. Northern Ireland engineering and manufacturing companies will also have an opportunity to bid for work packages on the wing production in the coming months. Meanwhile, a delegation of small- and medium-sized engineering enterprises from Northern Ireland took part in business-to-business meetings in Washington this week with some of Bombardier’s US suppliers. The event was hosted by Invest Northern Ireland.


RTI (Resin Transfer Infusion) is a Bombardier patented process used to produce the wing skins of its CSeries aircraft. Infusion of resin into the preform is performed with vacuum pressure only. However, the mold is located in an unpressurized autoclave during the infusion step. After the preform is fully infused, the autoclave is pressurized and heated to perform cure. This makes it easier to achieve high laminate quality because positive cure pressure (>14 psi) helps prevent void formation from entrapped air and volatiles. It has the drawback that a suitable size autoclave is still requited.


3rd May 2019, 05:30
RTI is the IP I was referring to earlier So far it is used only on the A220 wings. These are the only wings produced in Belfast, AFAIK.

3rd May 2019, 07:42
Looks like wing technology is included in sale:


3rd May 2019, 07:47
Of course people in the UK are blaming Brexit, but strangely enough, the world is bigger than the UK and not every change is necessarily a consequence of Brexit! Bombardier are also selling their business in Morocco – no Brexit effect there, surely?

Victor Golf
3rd May 2019, 11:07
If that leaves and no job replacements are found that's a massive blow to the economy in Norther Ireland

3rd May 2019, 16:05
Its not Brexit, Bomb is selling stuff all over the place and consolidating the business jet operations as well.

Rather than purchase it, I am sure AB can add incentives for B to keep it in operation if a buyer cant be found. It seems like they invested 520 million pounds in the facility, so that adds a steep bump, let alone the IP.
such incentive would be for that facility to produce a new wing for the A320neo, they already make the nacelles and other neo parts, and get that variant selling a few more years.

Both AB and B need to face reality, with the engine market going the way it is, there arent going to be any new designs out for a long time, so the NMA and other concepts that require a new engine just aint gonna happen soon...

ivor toolbox
3rd May 2019, 16:08
Probably been a plan since the C series got taken on by Airbus, and the Dash8 line got sold.


3rd May 2019, 20:16
Popping into Belfast City several times a week, I saw Shorts taken down, and a huge B starting the new sign. And I mean, HUGE.
Soon there was BO, then BOM, onto BOMB . . . and then they went home for the weekend.

You just couldn't make it up.

Hopefully, no-one will follow their instructions :)

5th May 2019, 14:22