May 2, 2019 / 3:13 PM / a year ago

Airbus sees Bombardier's Belfast plant as "key supplier"

PARIS, May 2 (Reuters) - Airbus on Thursday declined to say whether it was interested in buying Bombardier’s Belfast plant after the Canadian firm put it up for sale, but described the Northern Ireland facility as a “key supplier”.

An Airbus spokesman noted the plant makes wings for the A220, formerly known as the CSeries, which Airbus bought from Bombardier last year, and some engine casings for the Airbus A320 family.

Industry sources say the plant uses new technology for carbon fibre wings that could interest Airbus for a future A320 replacement and other long-term projects.

Bombardier’s sale of its Belfast wing and structure-making operation, the largest high-tech manufacturer in Northern Ireland, has stunned workers. They have called on the British government to retain jobs, with the plant employing 3,600 people.

Reporting by Tim Hepher; Editing by Matthias Blamont

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