Bombardier to sell Belfast aerostructures business

Bombardier has announced plans to sell its aerostructures business in Belfast.

In a statement, the company said: “Our sites in Belfast and Morocco have seen a significant increase in work from other global customers in recent years. We are recognised as a global leader in aerostructures, with unique end-to-end capabilities – through design and development, testing and manufacture, to after-market support. Bombardier is committed to finding the right buyer – one that will operate responsibly and help us achieve our full growth potential.

Bombardier

Bombardier

“We understand that this announcement may cause concern among our employees, but we will be working closely with them and our unions as matters progress, and through any future transition period to a new owner.

“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.”

A Bombardier spokesperson added: “We will not be offering any interviews on this topic or providing further comment today.”

Jackie Pollock, Unite Regional Secretary in Ireland, responded to news that Bombardier was to sell its Aerostructures division globally which includes all five production sites in Northern Ireland.

“Today’s announcement will come as a shock to the entire Bombardier workforce in Northern Ireland. Many of the company’s 3,600 employees will be left asking what this will mean for their long-term future of their jobs.

“Unite will be seeking assurances from Bombardier and the government around this process. It doesn’t matter whose name is above the gate – what matters is that we safeguard jobs and skills in this critical industry. The UK government must stand ready to ensure the retention of jobs and skills at these sites, Bombardier is simply too important to the Northern Ireland economy to allow anything less.

“Bombardier workers in Northern Ireland are among the most highly-skilled workers in the sector globally – we produce a world class product here with a world-class workforce. Whoever the buyer is there’s an undeniable case for investment to not only sustain but expand production and employment into the future.”

Trade unions say they are seeking assurance for workers.

Unite assistant general secretary for manufacturing Steve Turner said: “Bombardier’s Northern Ireland workforce is world class and a global leader in aerospace. Unite’s key priorities are retaining jobs and securing investment in any sale process.

“I have spoken to the business secretary Greg Clark about securing commitments from Bombardier that it will retain its aero structures division in Northern Ireland if no interested parties come forward and expect to speak to Bombardier’s chief executive later today.

“Unite is also in close contact with other global aerospace companies which could come forward as a potential buyer for Bombardier’s aero structures. Throughout this process Unite will be working to ensure that Northern Ireland’s proud tradition in aerospace continues to be a source for decent jobs for generations to come.”

GMB has also demanded reassurance for workers and their families after the announcement.

The union say Bombardier workers have already had to put up with uncertainty over the Trump administration’s tariffs and 490 job losses announced last year.

Michael Muholland, GMB Organiser, said: “GMB demands reassurances over the future of Bombardier workers in Northern Ireland.

“Our members – and their families - have already suffered a terrible year.

“After months of uncertainty following Trump’s tariffs – they were then hit with the news of 490 job losses - and now this.

“Bombardier jobs are absolutely vital to Northern Ireland’s economy and its time workers were treated with the respect they deserve.”

He added: “GMB will be meeting reps today and over the next few days to discuss next steps.”