Uganda Airlines to become a Mitsubishi client
Uganda Airlines will transition to become a Mitsubishi Heavy Industries customer from mid-2020, following the latter’s purchase of the CRJ programme from Bombardier.
AviationWeek Network reports that Bombardier is selling its CRJ program to Mitsubishi Heavy Industries for $550 million. Mitsubishi will take over virtually all aspects of the program except manufacturing, which will remain with Bombardier until the backlog of orders, 42 of them, are fulfilled in mid-2020.
Mitsubishi will take over marketing, maintenance, support and sales from support facilities in Montreal and Toronto in Canada, plus Bridgeport, West Virginia, and Tucson in the U.S. According to reports, Mitsubishi is expected to retain approximately 1200 of its current workforce of 1600 worldwide.
For now, the 375 employees building CRJs at Bombardier’s Mirabel, Quebec, facility will be unaffected, though they will be impacted once the current orders are fulfilled.
Seiji Izumisawa, president and CEO of MHI, says: “We are working hard to ensure that we provide new profit potential for airlines and set a new standard for passenger experience. This transaction represents one of the most important steps in our strategic 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 (MRO), engineering and customer support. 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.”
“We are very pleased to announce this agreement, which represents the completion of Bombardier’s aerospace transformation,” said Alain Bellemare, Bombardier’s president and chief executive officer. “We are confident that MHI’s acquisition of the program is the best solution for airline customers, employees and shareholders. We are committed to ensuring a smooth and orderly transition. 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.”
Mitsubishi which earlier this month rebranded its MRJ aircraft as SpaceJets has been struggling to get them through the certification process in part because of a lack of technical experiences and resources to the aircraft through the process. It is believed this acquisition brings on board such assets. In addition it will gain access to a well-established global sales and support network, a key consideration by buyers of aircraft.