Airbus Considers Taking Over Belfast Plant from Spirit AeroSystems for A220 Wings

Airbus Considers Taking Over Belfast Plant from Spirit AeroSystems for A220 Wings

Key Points:

  • Airbus and Spirit AeroSystems have discussed the possibility of Airbus acquiring the Belfast plant where A220 wings are manufactured.
  • No agreement has been reached, and Airbus has refrained from commenting on merger speculation.
  • Spirit is engaged in pricing negotiations with Airbus and Boeing, with reports suggesting Boeing may repurchase Spirit.
  • The Belfast plant, acquired by Bombardier in 1989, has been embroiled in political and economic disputes.

Airbus and Spirit AeroSystems have been discussing the possibility of Airbus acquiring the Belfast plant in Northern Ireland, where Spirit currently manufactures wings for the A220 aircraft. However, industry sources suggest that a deal is unlikely to materialize shortly.

According to sources, Airbus and Spirit have explored the idea of Airbus assuming control of the Belfast plant, but no agreement has been reached. Airbus has declined to comment on any merger and acquisition speculation, while a spokesperson for Spirit stated that discussions with Airbus are ongoing, emphasizing the value of their partnership.

In 2018, Airbus acquired Bombardier’s CSeries passenger jet program and rebranded it as the A220. Following this acquisition, Bombardier sold the Belfast plant, producing the A220’s carbon-composite wings, to Spirit AeroSystems, a former subsidiary of Boeing.

Recent reports suggest that Boeing is in talks to repurchase Spirit AeroSystems, which has been facing financial challenges. Spirit has been negotiating prices with Airbus and Boeing, seeking higher prices after reaching a pricing agreement with Boeing. Airbus, however, has pushed for price reductions from Spirit to improve the profitability of the A220 program.

While Airbus is not keen on bypassing pricing negotiations to bring wing manufacturing in-house, plant ownership could become more pressing if Spirit is reintegrated into Boeing. The Belfast plant, acquired by Bombardier in 1989, has been at the center of political and economic disputes, particularly during the Boeing-Bombardier subsidy dispute in 2017.

The Belfast plant employs innovative techniques to manufacture wings for the A220, reducing reliance on energy-intensive processes. However, industry sources indicate that the wings are produced at a significant loss, potentially requiring Airbus to invest $1-2 billion in redesign efforts to ensure profitability if it takes control of the plant.

TechGolly editorial team led by Al Mahmud Al Mamun. He worked as an Editor-in-Chief at a world-leading professional research Magazine. Rasel Hossain and Enamul Kabir are supporting as Managing Editor. Our team is intercorporate with technologists, researchers, and technology writers. We have substantial knowledge and background in Information Technology (IT), Artificial Intelligence (AI), and Embedded Technology.

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