Airbus-Bombardier deal 'will help secure future of the Belfast workforce'

The announcement that Airbus is taking a majority stake in Bombardier's C-Series jet project has been welcomed by politicians in the North.

Around a thousand staff at Bombardier's Belfast site are involved in making the C-Series plane's wings.

The chief executives of both Airbus and Bombardier have said they hope the deal will help boost sales and could secure jobs in the North.

Responding to the deal announcement, Sinn Fein leader Michelle O'Neill said: "This is a good news story for Bombardier, for its workforce in Belfast and the local economy.

"The deal with Airbus will help secure the future of the workforce in Belfast and sales of the C-Series planes, whose wings are manufactured in Belfast."

Ulster Unionist Party MLA Steve Aiken also welcomed news of the deal, saying it could represent an exciting future for the market.

"The tie-up between Bombardier and Airbus on the C-Series project is great news for Northern Ireland, great news for our manufacturing sector and most importantly great news for Bombardier's workers in Belfast," he said.

"The C-Series is a technologically superior product to any equivalent on offer from its rival Boeing and the arrangement with Airbus makes for a potentially very exciting future.

"We could see new markets being opened up, over and above potential US sales."

Britain’s Northern Ireland Secretary James Brokenshire said: "We have been working tirelessly across Government to secure the future of the C-Series in recent months, and we will continue to do all we can to ensure the unjustified case brought by Boeing reaches a swift and effective resolution.

"Our number one priority throughout has been to safeguard jobs and livelihoods in Belfast.

"While there are still some steps before the deal is completed, this is clearly a significant move forward for the C-Series and for the workforce in Northern Ireland."

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