AT A glitzy party in Toulouse on July 10th Airbus, Europe’s aerospace giant, revealed its “newest” plane. But many aviation buffs might find it familiar. It was a repainted C-Series aircraft—originally developed by Bombardier of Canada—a project in which Airbus bought a 50.01% stake on July 1st. Airbus welcomed the aircraft into its family of planes by renaming the CS-100 as the A220-100 and the CS-300 as the A220-300. The message was clear: it is now an Airbus plane. But with Airbus and Bombardier’s arch rivals, Boeing of America and Embraer of Brazil, announcing their own joint venture last week, the skies are running out of competition.
The tie-up between Airbus and Bombardier, originally signed last October, initially came as good news for many airlines. Before Airbus swooped, the C-Series project was financially on its knees following an attempt by Boeing, Airbus’s arch-rival, to get tariffs slapped on imports of the planes into America. That would have decimated its order book and pushed Bombardier to the brink of bankruptcy….Continue reading