Baroness Fairhead announces UKEF financing for the sale of C Series aircraft to Korean Airlines, supporting investment and jobs in Northern Ireland.
Baroness Fairhead, Minister of State for Trade and Export Promotion, said: “The UK is at the forefront of the civil aerospace industry and I am delighted that the Department for International Trade is backing this landmark contract, which will support the global success of Bombardier’s C Series programme and its operations in Northern Ireland.”
“This represents a double-first; it is the first time that UKEF has supported a C Series aircraft sale from Bombardier, who are a major investor and employer in Northern Ireland, and it is the first sale of the C Series to an Asian airline.
“This contract clearly shows the value of support from UK Export Finance to those investing into the UK as they grow their international businesses.”
The announcement comes at a historic moment for the UK and Asia, with two weeks to go until the UK Government hosts the GREAT Festival of Innovation in Hong Kong, designed to boost trade between the UK and Asia.
UKEF has worked in partnership with Canadian export credit agency, Export Development Canada (EDC), to provide Korean Airlines with financing to support the sale to date of two C Series aircraft, whose wings and parts of the fuselage – a significant proportion of the complete aircraft – are made at Bombardier’s site in Belfast. UKEF has provided reinsurance support to EDC for the UK elements of the aircraft.
Michael Ryan, President, Bombardier Aerostructures and Engineering Services, said: “The C Series aircraft is the market leader in the 100- to 150-seat segment and subject to significant global demand. This aircraft has advanced carbon fibre wings and advanced technology fuselage sections manufactured in Belfast. We are very proud to have secured our first C Series aircraft sale to an Asian airline and with the backing of UK Export Finance and Export Development Canada look forward to building on this success.
UKEF, Bombardier and EDC are planning to extend the programme, with further support likely to follow for future C Series deliveries to Korean Airlines scheduled for 2018.