The unfolding story of the transfer of Bombardier CSeries CS100 and CS300 airliners to Airbus is one of the most fascinating business cases I’ve ever seen.
A short summary is:
- The Bombardier CS100 and CS300 are certified airliners financed and developed in Canada
- Bombardier was essentially bankrupted developing them at a cost of several billion dollars and likely the CSeries would have failed in the marketplace
- Airbus got 50.1% ownership of them for free, with an option to purchase the remainder in 7 years
- Bombardier retains two other mature aircraft programs, the CRJ and Q400
- Airbus hasn’t sold an A319 in 5 years and declined a partnership a few years ago, but couldn’t resist this opportunity. Likely they are eyeing the rapidly-expanding Chinese domestic market
- Boeing’s lobbying to get 300% tariffs resulted in a partnership that has a direct competitor for the 737
- Embraer gets direct competitors for their planes.