A new wing building plant officially opened by David Cameron in Belfast today will provide 250 more jobs over the next year.
The Prime Minister opened Bombardier’s new 600,000-square-foot manufacturing and assembly facility, which is producing the wings for its new CSeries aircraft, which completed a successful maiden flight last month.
The Canadian firm used the opening to announce that it will create at least 250 more jobs over the next 12 months to cater for its expanding aircraft programmes and component repair business to bring its Northern Ireland workforce to approximately 6,250 by the end of 2014.
The wings are made using carbon-fibre composite technology developed by Bombardier engineers in Northern Ireland, which enables both material and aircraft weight savings that contribute to reduced manufacturing times and fuel costs.
“We believe that our advanced composites process enables a step-change in the way aircraft wings are made,” said Michael Ryan, vice-president and general manager for Bombardier’s Belfast operation.
“The benefits of weight reduction compared to conventional metal wings, and reduced inspection and maintenance activities, are making an important contribution to the CSeries aircraft’s success.
“Bombardier’s major investment in the CSeries aircraft programme continues to bring significant benefits to the 200 companies in our UK supply chain as well as to the Northern Ireland and wider UK economies.”
Speaking to workers on the factory floor, Cameron said the company was exactly the sort that he wanted to thrive in the UK.
"What we need in our country is more businesses and jobs like this," he said.
"We need to make more things, we need to export more things, we need to design more things. We want the high-end, high-tech, high-paid, high-skilled jobs that companies like this bring to our country."
The Prime Minister was in Belfast to make a sales pitch for further foreign investment to 350 international delegates earlier in the day at an investment conference at the Titanic Belfast centre.
"Northern Ireland has a track record of attracting inward investment," he said.
"With over 800 foreign investors, Northern Ireland is now second only to London as the top UK destination for inward investment, with almost 8,000 jobs from foreign investment in the last three years alone."