Local businesses urged to explore Bombardier CSeries supply contracts

Local companies have been urged to explore potentially lucrative subcontract opportunities with international suppliers for Bombardier Aerospace’s new CSeries aircraft programme.

That was the focus of an event hosted by Invest Northern Ireland in Belfast today, attended by around 50 local company delegates who presented their product and service solutions to top buyers and executives from 30 of Bombardier’s potential primary suppliers to the CSeries programme.

Bombardier in Belfast is responsible for the design, development and manufacture of the advanced composite wings for Bombardier’s CSeries aircraft. It is currently finalising contracts with top-tier suppliers, many of whom travelled especially to discuss potential business opportunities with local companies at the event.

Among the opportunities that could become available for local companies are the provision of products and services in areas as diverse as tooling, factory automation, software and logistics.

The event was also a chance for local delegates to establish and cultivate potentially valuable ongoing relationships with these key players in the global aerospace supply sector.

Welcoming the delegates and participating suppliers to the event, Invest NI Chief Executive Alastair Hamilton said: “Bombardier is one of Northern Ireland’s most innovative companies and a major player in the global aerospace industry. The company’s decision last year to invest over half a billion pounds in Northern Ireland is indicative of the international esteem in which the capability and talent of the local operation and associated supply network are held.

“I am delighted that representatives from some of the biggest names in the global aerospace supply sector have come to Belfast to learn at first hand how NI companies can deliver the world-class products and services needed for a major aircraft programme like the CSeries.”

Mr Hamilton added: “Local companies continue to outperform their international competitors and offer the most attractive option for a wide range of products and services for the aerospace industry. By delivering tailored, capability-building support, Invest NI is committed to ensuring that this remains the case and that companies here can capitalise on these types of opportunities, despite the challenges of the global economic downturn.”

Michael Ryan, Vice President and General Manager of Bombardier Aerospace, Belfast, said: “The CSeries will be one of the most advanced commercial aircraft in the world. Design, development and production of the wings are taking place here in Northern Ireland and require world-class knowledge and capability.

“There is clear potential for knock-on benefits of our CSeries aircraft programme investment to the whole Northern Ireland economy if local companies win high value contracts with our primary suppliers. We are also actively encouraging local companies to participate in the national manufacturing excellence programme, SC21, which is aimed at improving their competitiveness and enabling them to compete on the world stage.

Mr Ryan concluded: “Today’s event provided an opportunity for many Northern Ireland businesses to meet these suppliers and explore the prospect for future new business. This includes companies that may not have previously supplied the aerospace sector, but which deliver high quality products or services, such as IT consultancy and safety inspection, which are versatile and useful in almost any manufacturing environment.”