Airbus Tie-Up With Bombardier Is Test for China’s Ambitions

Airbus SE’s agreement to buy a majority stake in Bombardier Inc.’s C Series passenger jet program not only injects critical financial support and expertise into the project, but also puts China’s aircraft-selling ambitions to the test.

Potential buyers of the C Series aircraft have the comfort that Airbus, with its global presence, will provide support for the jet anywhere, an allure that the state owned Commercial Aircraft Corp. of China, or Comac, doesn’t have. The Chinese planemaker–yet to sign a major international airline as its customer–will have to redouble efforts to sell the C919 as it goes head-to-head in the most popular segment of single-aisle jets.

“Airbus’s investment in the C series program means more competition for Comac as the C Series is also a competitor of the C919,” said Corrine Png, chief executive officer of Crucial Perspective Pte. in Singapore. That’s “in addition to the much more established Airbus and Boeing Co. narrow body aircraft,” she said.

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