The aerospace firm, Bombardier, is putting its Belfast operation up for sale as part of a reorganization of the business. The company, which also has factories in Morocco, is selling its entire aerostructures operation.
The Canadian aircraft manufacturer employs about 3,600 people across several locations in Northern Ireland. The company said it would be working closely with employees and unions, through any future transition period, reports BBC.
In a statement, Bombardier announced the “strategic formation of Bombardier Aviation, consolidating all aerospace assets into a single, streamlined and fully integrated business”.
A Bombardier C Series aircraft is displayed at the Singapore Airshow at Changi Exhibition Center
The statement added: “Our sites in Belfast and Morocco have seen a significant increase in work from other global customers in recent years.
“We are recognized as a global leader in aerostructures, with unique end-to-end capabilities – through design and development, testing and manufacture, to after-market support.”
It said Bombardier was committed to finding the right buyer.
It added: “There are no new workforce announcements as a result of this decision.
“But our management team will continue to drive ongoing transformation initiatives to improve productivity and increase our competitiveness, to give more weight to our unique value proposition to potential buyers.”
Last November, Bombardier said it was to cut a further 490 jobs from its Northern Ireland operations.
It is understood that Business Secretary Greg Clark spoke to representatives of the company before the announcement was made. A government spokesperson said that it was disappointing that Belfast was no longer a part of Bombardier’s future. Bombardier, which is based in Montreal, has more than 68,000 employees in 28 countries.
Last month, it slashed its full-year revenue forecast from $18bn (£13.7bn) to $17bn (£13bn) due to timing of aircraft deliveries, production challenges in its train-making division and unfavorable currency conversions.
The rail unit is meant to generate $10bn (£7.6bn) but Bombardier has cut its full-year revenue forecast for the division by almost 8% to $8.75bn (£6.7bn).
Bombardier’s president and chief executive Alain Bellemare said that the company expected to meet its aircraft delivery and financial performance targets for the year in its aerospace businesses.