More than 30 years after snowmobile pioneer Bombardier first entered the aerospace sector, the company is reportedly set to depart the commercial aircraft industry entirely amid a broad restructuring effort.
CBC/Radio-Canada reports that fresh off a $1.6 billion loss in its latest fiscal year, the one-time aviation and rail giant sold its stake in the A220 passenger jet to its partner Airbus for $591 million. The French aerospace giant now owns 75% of the A220 program, with the remainder owned by the government of Quebec.
The deal will relieve the debt-ridden company from paying an estimated $700 million into the program, but it also leaves Bombardier Aerospace with only its private jet manufacturing operations. Airbus will retain more than 3,000 jobs in Quebec as part of the deal.
Bombardier officials said that they long planned to exit commercial aviation after the company reportedly flirted with bankruptcy in 2015, but the CBC noted the company’s core operations remain something of a “moving target” after years of shedding aerospace assets.
And despite leaving the commercial aerospace market altogether, the company still likely isn’t done — reports indicated that Bombardier is close to a sale of its rail operations to French rail giant Alstom.