Key Points:
  • Quebec, holding a 25% stake in the Airbus A220 program, expects a profitable exit by 2030, despite current financial challenges and production delays.

  • Significant investments by Quebec in the A220 program, including $300 million in 2022 and a $1 billion lifeline in 2016, aim to bolster the aerospace sector in the region.

  • Production of the A220, split between Mirabel, Quebec, and Mobile, Alabama, is set to increase, with Mirabel compensating for any production overflow from Mobile.

Quebec’s Economic Optimism with Airbus A220 Stake

Quebec's Economy Minister Pierre Fitzgibbon expressed confidence in the province's financial outlook regarding its minority stake in the Airbus A220 narrowbody jet program. Despite the program currently operating at a loss and facing cost containment challenges, Fitzgibbon anticipates a profitable departure when Quebec exits its 25% stake by 2030. This optimism is supported by strong market demand and Quebec's significant role in the aerospace industry.

Quebec's Investment and Airbus Production Plans

Quebec has been a key investor in the A220 program, contributing $300 million in 2022 and providing a $1 billion support package to Bombardier, the jet's original manufacturer, in 2016. The agreement with Airbus allows Quebec to maintain its stake in the program until Airbus's planned buyout in 2030. The A220, available in variants of approximately 110 or 130 seats, is produced in both Mirabel, Quebec, and Mobile, Alabama. Airbus intends to boost production in Mirabel to ten jets per month, complementing the four per month in Mobile. This production strategy was devised partly to cater to U.S. customers and circumvent a trade dispute with Boeing.

Mirabel's Central Role in A220 Production

Fitzgibbon highlighted Mirabel's strategic importance in the production of the A220. As the Mobile facility reaches its production capacity, Mirabel is poised to handle any additional production needs, regardless of the geographical location of the customers. This flexibility in production underscores Quebec's integral role in the A220 program and reinforces the province's commitment to strengthening its aerospace sector. Fitzgibbon’s remarks reinforce the province's anticipation of recouping its investment and possibly achieving additional financial gains, affirming Quebec's strategic position in the global aerospace industry.