Northern Ireland

Bombardier: Nigerian airline orders 50 Airbus A220 jets

Bombardier C-series Image copyright Reuters
Image caption The A220 was formerly known as the Bombardier CSeries before Airbus acquired a majority stake in the project

Green Africa Airways, a new Nigerian airline, has ordered 50 Airbus A220s, the wings of which are made at a factory in Belfast.

The deal is being seen as significant because Green Africa had originally expressed an interest in ordering a fleet of Boeing 737 Max.

The Max has been grounded since March 2019 after two separate crashes killed 346 people.

The airline's owner said it is the largest A220 order from Africa.

"Together with Airbus, we are incredibly proud to announce the largest order ever for the A220 from the African continent," said founder of Green Africa Airways, Babawande Afolabi.

Meanwhile, the Canadian aerospace firm Bombardier has sold its remaining stake in the A220 project to Airbus for $591m (£455m).

Airbus first invested in the project in 2017 at a time when Bombardier was in financial difficulties.

Last year Bombardier agreed to sell the Belfast wing plant to Spirit Aerosystems.

That deal, which includes Bombardiers's other Belfast operations, is expected to be completed later this year.

The A220 started life as the Bombardier CSeries.

However the development of the CSeries went over time and budget and threatened to tip Bombardier into insolvency.

The Canadian province of Québec also invested in the CSeries, in what was effectively a bail out.

Québec retains a 25% stake in the A220.

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