Canadian aircraft order is major boost to UK plant

Canadian company to invest £500m in aircraft wing plant in UK

Bombardier Aerospace of Canada has announced the biggest investment of a single company in Northern Ireland, unveiling plans to plough over £500m into its east Belfast plant.

The investment, announced at the 2008 Farnborough Air Show, is the result of the first order placed for Bombardier’s new C-Series aircraft.

German airline Lufthansa is to buy an initial 30 C-Series, with an option to buy 30 more. Each plane costs around $47m.

The Belfast plant will design and build the aircraft’s wings, with other parts being made at facilities around the world. Around 800 jobs, some of them new, will be secured at the factory.

Bombardier said greener fuel-efficient technology used in the C-Series would "revolutionise" the 100 to 149-seater market.

The C-Series will use a the new Geared Turbofan engine that was demonstrated for the first time at Farnborough. The maker, Pratt & Witney of the US, claimed the engine was more than 12 per cent more fuel-efficient than today’s most efficient engines.

The long-running project was dropped two years ago but the Canadian aerospace firm resurrected it last year amid rising fuel costs.

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