Bombardier, China’s Comac To Cooperate on 'Commonalities'

 - March 26, 2012, 4:00 PM
Pierre Beaudoin, Bombardier president and CEO, left, and Comac chairman Jin Zhuanglong sign a cooperation agreement March 21 in Shanghai. (Photo: Bombardier)

Canada’s Bombardier Aerospace and Commercial Aircraft Corporation of China (Comac) signed a definitive agreement on March 21 to cooperate on four areas or “program commonalities” of their respective C Series and C919 narrowbody airliners.

The manufacturers agreed to cooperate on human-machine cockpit interfaces, the electrical system, the development of aluminum-lithium alloy standards and customer services, including technical publications. The companies expect to complete the four projects over the next year in conjunction with the C919 development schedule, they said. Comac chairman Jin Zhuanglong and Pierre Beaudoin, Bombardier president and CEO, signed the agreement in Shanghai. Jin said the agreement “will certainly contribute to enhancing the competitiveness of not only the C919 and C Series aircraft programs, but also of Comac and Bombardier’s overall businesses.”

The agreement marks another step in Bombardier’s effort to raise its profile in Asia, which represents a growth outlet for the 110- to 130-seat C Series as well as the company’s CRJ regional jets and Q400 turboprops. In February, Bombardier and Avic International Leasing of China signed a memorandum of understanding to cooperate in the financing of commercial aircraft sales in China and elsewhere. China’s Shenyang Aircraft supplies fuselage sections for the Q400 and the C Series.

Bombardier and Comac signed a framework agreement in March 2011 for long-term, strategic cooperation. The definitive agreement represents the first phase of that strategic cooperation. The parties said they will continue exploring other possibilities for cooperation on program commonalities such as joint procurement, development “synergies” and customer services.

Bombardier’s competition also is engaged in China. Earlier this month, Comac and Boeing signed a “collaboration agreement” to establish an aviation energy and emissions reduction technology center in Beijing.