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OPINION: CSeries deal presents wider opportunity

Aside from the obvious benefit for the health of the programme and for the wider company, Airbus's planned acquisition of a majority stake in the Bombardier CSeries could present another opportunity.

In addition to its core aircraft manufacturing operation, the Canadian manufacturer has an in-house aerostructures business. Core competencies include building the advanced composite wings for the CSeries. But the division also supplies the wider industry: about 15% of its global output is for third parties, rising to 30% at its facility in the Northern Irish city of Belfast.

That capability may throw up some unusual relationships – making Bombardier an indirect supplier to arch-rival Embraer via the nacelles on the KC-390 – but it still generated revenue of $1.5 billion in 2016.

Assuming the CSeries deal with Airbus goes through, then Bombardier has the chance to capitalise on that deeper relationship.

It believes it can already offer wing-building technologies that are more advanced than those of its pending partner, with the next generation already in development.

Of course, Airbus is almost certainly working on its own advanced wings and already has its own centres of excellence. Does it need another?

Still, given Bombardier's rollercoaster ride over the past 12 months, nothing can be ruled out.

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