Bombardier puts its Belfast operation up for sale

Bombardier is putting its Belfast operation up for sale as part of an overhaul of the business putting thousands of aerospace jobs at risk.

The company, which also has factories in Morocco, is selling its entire aerostructures operation.It employs about 3,600 people across several locations in Northern Ireland.

The company said it would be working closely with employees and unions, through any future transition period.

In a statement, Bombardier announced the “strategic formation of Bombardier Aviation, consolidating all aerospace assets into a single, streamlined and fully integrated business”.

“As a result, Bombardier will pursue the divestiture of its Belfast and Morocco aerostructures businesses.

The statement added: “Our sites in Belfast and Morocco have seen a significant increase in work from other global customers in recent years.

“We are recognised as a global leader in aerostructures, with unique end-to-end capabilities – through design and development, testing and manufacture, to after-market support.”

It said Bombardier was committed to finding the right buyer but there are no new workforce announcements as a result of the decision.

“But our management team will continue to drive ongoing transformation initiatives to improve productivity and increase our competitiveness, to give more weight to our unique value proposition to potential buyers,” the statement added.

Bombardier, which is based in Montreal, has more than 68,000 employees in 28 countries. Last November it said it was cutting a further 490 jobs from its Northern Ireland operations.

Last month, it cut its full-year revenue forecast from $18 billion to $17 billion due to timing of aircraft deliveries, production challenges in its train-making division and unfavourable currency conversions.