Bombardier is to invite formal bids from as many as four US states for the contract to build its proposed C Series family of 110- to 140-seat aircraft, putting pressure on Canada and Northern Ireland to help bankroll the $2 billion project.

Bombardier will not identify the candidates, but says Boeing's home state of Washington is not in the running. According to the state's Republican senator, Bombardier is in talks with Kansas, however. Bombardier's existing airliner final assembly is performed at its sites in Montreal and Toronto.

The manufacturer says no one has the upper hand in the bidding and a decision on a location is expected early next year followed by a board vote on whether to proceed with the programme. Bombardier is looking to split the development costs between itself, suppliers and governments. It is also seeking government support to help finance sales.

The Canadian government says it will partner with Bombardier to develop the new aircraft and do everything it can to prevent the project leaving the country (Flight International, 19-25 October).

For years, Bombardier has pressed the Canadian government to expand its financial support for the country's aerospace industry. Pressure is now building on Quebec and Ottawa to put together an incentive package for the project, which could create up to 5,000 jobs.



Source: Flight International