Hundreds of Bombardier employees spend at Mitsubishi

Des centaines d’employés de Bombardier passent chez Mitsubishi

Jim Mone Associated Press
The transfer of the program CRJ, which is not profitable for years, marks the last turn of the group in montreal to get out of commercial aviation.

Nearly a year after the announcement of the transaction, at the time that one of its subsidiaries was working on its entry in the commercial aviation, Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (MHI) has completed the acquisition of the program CRJ from Bombardier and launched its own service offering maintenance and after-sales support for the regional aircraft, to be headquartered in Montreal.

By the same token, 1400 employees of the program CRJ, of which 340 are in Quebec, are transferred to MHI RJ Aviation Group. The book of orders for these single aisle aircraft, which have been the glory of Bombardier in the 1990s, still has 15 copies to be delivered this year : they will be assembled in the name of Mitsubishi by 350 employees of the company in montreal that are not part of the transfer.

The transfer of the program, which is not profitable for years, marks the last turn of the group in montreal to get out of the aviation business, Bombardier has also chosen to divest itself of its division of transit systems to focus on the business aircraft like the Global and the Challenger.

The acquisition, made at a price of $550 million US, door on the maintenance and engineering, but also on the activities related to the refurbishment and marketing. In addition to Mirabel, which had approximately 700 employees in the program in the CRJ at the time when Bombardier was the owner of it (including in the assembly), the facilities located in Toronto, Bridgeport (West Virginia), and Tucson (Arizona). Warehouses of parts of CRJ aircraft are located in Chicago and Frankfurt, Germany.

Talent pool

Mitsubishi ” came to pick up the talent that these people were offering “, said a spokesperson, Nathalie Scott, when The Duty has raised the question of the presence of the company in quebec. “We are in the process of starting a business, that’s really the focus right now. “

On the side of Bombardier, a spokesman said that it was still too early to determine what will happen to the precisely of the 350 employees that are not transferred, whose mission is currently to complete the assembly of the last CRJ on order. According to the company, the movement of these employees within the company will be governed by the rules of the collective agreement with the Machinists. They say that 273 of their members are in this group.

The closing of the transaction occurs while the japanese parent company slowed its spending as a result of pandemic. Its subsidiary, Mitsubishi Aircraft has been working for years on a new regional aircraft, the SpaceJet, and had announced last year the creation of an engineering center in quebec. This project seems today to be on the ice to the extent that events overseas will be repatriated to Japan. The Seattle Times wrote on may 22 that Mitsubishi Aircraft will close its u.s. headquarters. Later in the day, a spokesman for the company told the Journal de Montreal that the decision also affects the team in place in Quebec.

The creation of an engineering centre in Boisbriand, which had to count a hundred workers in the first year, was held in September 2019 under the gaze of the direction of Mitsubishi’s and prime minister François Legault. The government had offered a loan of $ 12 million, a sum that would not have to be repaid if Mitsubishi had achieved some objectives. On a five-year horizon, we mentioned the presence of 250 employees.

According to Karl Moore, in spite of the current issues of the SpaceJet, the transaction of the RTA is logical. “It’s going to take a few years” for the global industry is back on its feet, but ” Mitsubishi existed for a hundred years, and sees long-term “.

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