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Aerolia Quebec sets its ambitious plan in motion

June 29, 2012, Montreal - A unit of the European aerospace giant that owns Airbus plans to create more than 150 jobs in Quebec in a project that will see it build the centre fuselage for new business jets being made by Bombardier Inc.


June 29, 2012
By The Canadian Press

Aerolia, a subsidiary of EADS, says the jobs will be created at two sites as it supplies a key component of the Bombardier Global 7000 and 8000 jets.

The provincial government is providing $15 million, including a $5-million grant, towards the $82.4-million project in the Montreal area.

Aerolia will begin its development efforts by mid-2013. Production of the first sub-assemblies will take place in Aerolia's sites in France and Tunisia.

The work will later be transferred to Quebec.

Bombardier is the world's largest manufacturer of business jets and the third-largest maker of passenger gets overall, after Airbus and Boeing.

The EADS Group, which includes Aerolia and Airbus and numerous other companies in the defence and aerospace industry, employs 133,000 people worldwide. Aerolia has 2,900 employees around the world and $1.18 billion of sales.

Aerolia Canada was established a year ago and its design office in Montreal employs 100 engineers to design the centre fuselage.

"The announcement of the construction of an assembly plant in Quebec formalizes a major, ambitious and exciting step forward, thereby giving concrete form to the industrial chapter of our contract with Bombardier,'' stated Christian Cornille, CEO of Aerolia.

"This new site will give an impulse to the exploration of new markets and new customers.''

One of the sites will be dedicated to engineering, the other to assembly of the fuselage for the business jets that are slated for delivery starting in 2016.

Quebec Economic Development Minister Sam Hamad thanked Aerolia for choosing his province over Ontario.

"This is a major strategic project for Quebec's aerospace industry,'' Hamad said.

In 2011, the province's aerospace industry employed 42,000 workers and had $11.7 billion of sales.

Cornille said the choice of Quebec over Ontario was the result of a process that lasted more than a year.

"This choice was one of quality and entry into the supply chain in Quebec,'' he said at a news conference.

Cornille also pointed to Quebec's financial commitment as an important part of the decision.

The position in Quebec aligns Aerolia with Bombardier and establishes it as a base of operations in North America.