Thursday, December 15, 2005

Only in Canada, You Say? Not Likely...

Bombardier's JV to make regional jets
Fu Chenghao
2005-12-15 Beijing Time
BOMBARDIER Inc plans to produce its proposed C Series regional aircraft with a local partner in northeastern China in a joint venture, following its major rival Embraer of Brazil.
A "C Series Project Team" has been set up at Shenyang Aircraft Corp prior to the official establishment of the venture, which is subject to government approval, an official at Shenyang Aircraft's publicity office told Shanghai Daily via telephone yesterday.
Quebec, Canada-based Bombardier will then transfer its production technology on the C Series jets to the Shenyang company, according to Beijing News. Shenyang Aircraft has been making plane components for Bombardier for more than a decade.
Zhang Jianwei, head of and spokesman for Bombardier's China operations, couldn't be reached for comment yesterday.
The joint venture would make Bombardier the second foreign plane maker to do final assembly of aircraft in China, after Brazil's Empresa Brasileira de Aeronautica SA, or Embraer for short.
Embraer, Bombardier's archrival in the regional jet market, set up a similar joint venture three years ago with Harbin Aircraft Industry Group Co and Hafei Aviation Industry Co to make small- or mid-sized planes.
The joint venture, called Harbin Embraer Aircraft Industry Co, has so far received 16 orders from two domestic carriers including China Southern Airlines Co and China Eastern Airlines Co.
Bombardier, however, said late last month it's considering whether to start production of the proposed C Series regional jets, which can seat between 110 and 130 passengers, citing uncertainties for market demand.
The company also said earlier that it would stop making 50-seat CRJ200 models by mid-January next year as airlines choose mid-sized planes with better fuel efficiency.
Bombardier is the world's third-largest commercial-plane maker.
So far, the only place you will find this story listed is on Bourque (scroll down for the headline). I heard about it as an item on the radio.
What I am finding absolutely fascinating is that this "definitively Canadian" company has not seen fit to alert our own media about this new business venture.
As of this moment, they don't even have it posted to their own website. I'd take a screen shot if I knew how to post it once I've got it (still working on skills).
Keep this in mind when next you hear Bombardier whining about how much they need yet another taxpayer-provided subsidy so they can stay solvent.

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