Mitsubishi buys Bombardier’s regional jet program

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Mitsubishi is to acquire Bombardier’s regional jet program for US$550 million and will be ending production of the aircraft at Mirabel, Québec before the start of 2021.

Bombardier’s regional jet, the CRJ (Canadair Regional Jet) Series was launched in 1997 with the CRJ700 and today includes six variants, including the CRJ550, which was first made available in February this year. Around 1800 CRJ aircraft have been sold.

The acquisition is expected to happen before June next year and remains subject to regulatory approvals.

As part of the deal, Mitsubishi will acquire the maintenance, support, refurbishment, marketing, and sales activities for the CRJ Series aircraft, including the related services and support network located in Montréal, Québec, and Toronto, Ontario, and its service centers located in Bridgeport, West Virginia, and Tucson, Arizona, as well as the type certificates.

The deal’s announcement follows a name change and reorganization of Mitsubishi’s regional jet program earlier this month.

Mitsubishi said the acquisition will complement its regional SpaceJet family, with the maintenance and engineering capabilities of the CRJ program enhancing its customer support functions.

Seiji Izumisawa, president and CEO of Mitsubishi said, “This transaction represents one of the most important steps in our journey to build a strong, global aviation capability. It augments these efforts by securing a world-class and complementary set of aviation-related functions including maintenance, repair and overhaul, engineering and customer support.

“In combination with our existing infrastructure and resources in Japan, Canada and elsewhere, we are confident that this represents an effective strategy that will contribute to the future success of the Mitsubishi SpaceJet family.”

Alain Bellemare, president and CEO of Bombardier said, “We have a clear path forward. Our focus is on two strong growth pillars: Bombardier Transportation, our global rail business, and Bombardier Aviation, a world-class business jet franchise with market-defining products and an unmatched customer experience.”

The CRJ production facility in Mirabel, Québec will remain with Bombardier so it can supply components and spare parts and assemble the current CRJ backlog on behalf of Mitsubishi. CRJ production is expected to conclude there in the second half of 2020, following the delivery of the current backlog of aircraft.

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Ben has worked all of his career as a journalist and now editor, covering almost all aspects of technology, engineering and industry. In the last 16 years he has written on subjects from nuclear submarines and autonomous cars to future design and manufacturing technologies and commercial aviation. Latterly editor of a leading engineering magazine, he brings an eye for a great story and lots of experience to the team.

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