Pierre Fitzgibbon, Quebec’s Minister for Economy and Innovation, has ruled out any provincial government investment in Bombardier’s CRJ programme. Production of the regional jet line, which includes the CRJ550, 700 and 1000, will end in 2020 if no further orders are received.
Speaking to Reuters, Fitzgibbon said: “Is the Quebec government going to invest CAN$2bn ($1.5bn) in the CRJ? The answer is no. It’s not going to happen. It would be foolish for me to take [that money] from Quebec taxpayers to put [it] in the CRJ programme. But I’m working very closely with the company to make sure that we maintain this employment within aerospace.”
There has been increased focus on the CRJ series after it was confirmed Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (MHI)– currently developing its own 70 and 90-seat regional jets – had entered talks with a view to acquiring the programme. MHI is hoping the purchase will help it overcome difficulties with the Mitsubishi Regional Jet (MRJ) project – Japan’s first indigenous passenger aircraft since the NAMC YS-11 turboprop, which first flew in 1962.
Bombardier has been reorganising its aviation and rail units to focus on more profitable elements such as business jets and train carriages. It sold the Q400 line, along with the De Havilland Canada (DHC) name and type certificates for DHC aircraft, to Longview Aviation in November.