A computer rendering of a Canadair Regional Jet (CRJ). Photo: Bombardier
Bombardier expects the $550 million sale of its Canadair Regional Jet (CRJ) program to Mitsubishi Heavy Industries to close by the second half of 2020. Mitsubishi’s acquisition agreement was announced by Bombardier on June 25, and would become the Canadian airplane manufacturer’s official exit from the commercial sector of air transportation after selling a majority stake in the C Series program to Airbus in 2017.
Under the purchase, which is still subject to regulatory approvals and closing conditions, MHI will acquire the maintenance, support, refurbishment, marketing, and sales activities for the CRJ Series aircraft. Liabilities amounting to $200 million, and Bombardier’s net beneficial interest in the Regional Aircraft Securitization Program (RASPRO) would also be transferred to MHI. The sale will bring all CRJ type certificates and Canadian and U.S.-based service and support centers located under MHI’s control.
The agreement comes following MHI’s reveal of the SpaceJet, a redesigned version of the delayed Mitsubishi Regional Jet, at the 2019 Paris Air Show.
“The CRJ program has been supported by tremendously talented individuals. In combination with our existing infrastructure and resources in Japan, Canada and elsewhere, we are confident that this represents one effective strategy that will contribute to the future success of the Mitsubishi SpaceJet family,” MHI President and CEO said in a statement.
Bombardier will retain control of the existing CRJ production facility in Mirabel, Quebec, while also continuing to provide components and spare parts for the in-service CRJ fleet. The current CRJ backlog stands at a total of 36 CRJ900s.
Moving forward, Bombardier CEO Alain Bellemare said the company’s aviation focus will be its business jet line, including the Global 5500 and 6500 which are each projected to enter into service later this year. 2018 was Bombardier’s first year finishing with a profit after five consecutive years of sales declines. Its business jet segment includes a $14.3 billion outstanding order backlog.
"With our aerospace transformation now behind us, we have a clear path forward and a powerful vision for the future. 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,” Bellemare said