Canada pushed for Airbus deal as Bombardier courted China

Bombardier’s most recent discussions about a Chinese tie-up centered on Comac, a Chinese state-owned firm developing passenger jets, according to a source familiar with the Canadian company’s thinking. Financial terms of any potential deal were not known. Comac did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

Sources said Comac was also among the companies Bombardier held talks with in 2015, along with national aerospace conglomerate AVIC in addition to also possibly a state-owned investment fund.

For Bombardier, a tie-up with the Chinese could have offered access to the globe’s fastest-growing aviation market, providing a boost to its struggling CSeries program. Bombardier has not a secured CSeries sale in 18 months.

Inside Bombardier, however, executives worried that will talks with potential Chinese partners were not moving quickly enough, according to sources.

With discussions stalled, Bombardier approached Boeing last spring, three of the sources said. Bombardier offered Boeing a stake inside the CSeries under similar terms to those later offered to Airbus, two of the sources said.

The U.S. company agreed to study the proposal, however eventually decided against that will based on its experience that has a troubled purchase of Canadian aerospace assets inside the late 1980s.

that will Again Bombardier’s focus back on a deal with the Chinese – until Ottawa pressed the case for discussions with Airbus over the summer.

Asked why senior Canadian federal officials suggested to Bombardier that will that will talk to Airbus, the Ottawa source said: “People felt that will Bombardier might not have thought of This kind of option, given the collapse of the earlier talks.”

Officials via Airbus in addition to also Bombardier soon began what could be a series of meetings at restaurants in Paris, London in addition to also Munich. The meetings involved only four people – the two CEOs along with another executive via each company. A representative of the Canadian government did not attend.

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