Briefing

Bombardier ends its Airbus partnership—and its failed foray into commercial aviation

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The debt-ridden Quebec aerospace company sold off its remaining stake in the plane it developed with hundreds of millions in federal and provincial investment. Under the terms of the deal, the Quebec government will boost its share in the Airbus venture from 16 to 25 per cent. The exit was widely anticipated following Bombardier’s profit warning and subsequent share-price nosedive last month. (The Globe and Mail, Reuters)

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Talking point: Bombardier’s commercial aviation saga began as many misadventures do: with shining optimism. The company would revolutionize the segment by developing a more comfortable, pilot-friendly and fuel-efficient bird. And the C-Series was all of those—though it landed several years late, billions of dollars over-budget and to lower-than-expected interest from airlines. While Bombardier’s exit gives the company much-needed cash, the boondoggle puts further pressure on its CEO Alain Bellemare, who has failed to right the company’s fortunes since his appointment in 2015. The winner: Quebec Premier François Legault, who secured the province’s US$1-billion investment and more than 3,000 aerospace jobs.