Inflight editor Alexander Preston summarises the latest happenings across IFEC and cabin technology.

After weeks of fervid speculation, it has finally been confirmed that Bombardier is selling its regional jet programme, the CRJ, to Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (MHI).

The divestiture is the final nail in the coffin for Bombardier’s commercial aviation presence.

At the beginning of May, the Canadian company announced it was consolidating its aerospace assets into a single, streamlined, and fully integrated Bombardier Aviation business unit, to be led by David Coleal.

“We are very excited to announce the strategic formation of Bombardier Aviation,” said Alain Bellemare, president and chief executive officer, Bombardier Inc. “It is the right next step in our transformation.”

The announcement came as Bombardier announced a reduction in revenues for its commercial aviation activities and a revision downwards in expected deliveries for the year.

This is despite a subsidiary of Chorus Aviation finalising a firm purchase agreement for nine CRJ900 aircraft to be operated by Jazz Aviation LP, making them the first Canadian operator of the new ATMOSPHERE cabin.

The CRJ550 was also launched, with United Airlines the first operator of this new model.

Bombardier has also recently sold its Q Series aircraft programme assets to De Havilland Aircraft of Canada, an affiliate of Longview Aviation Capital Corp.

Longview will carry on the production of Q400 aircraft at the Downsview Facility in Toronto, and will continue performing aftermarket services for Q Series aircraft. Bombardier will provide transitional services and will license certain intellectual property to Longview to facilitate a seamless transition of the Q Series aircraft programme.

According to Bellemare: “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.”

Seiji Izumisawa, president & CEO of MHI, commented: “As we outlined during the recent Paris Air Show, 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.”

During Paris, MHI announced a prospective North American customer had entered into a Memorandum of Understanding to commence formal negotiations for 15 Mitsubishi SpaceJet M100 aircraft, with deliveries beginning in 2024.

Mitsubishi SpaceJet is the commercial name for the product family that includes the SpaceJet M90 (previously known by the developmental designation of MRJ90) and a new member, the SpaceJet M100.

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