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Airbus is blaming the coronavirus crisis for its decision to cancel the planned in-sourcing of its A320neo engine nacelles.
The OEM was expected to take over production of its A320neo engine housings from Raytheon Technologies Corp. this month. But Reuters reported on June 23 that the Toulouse, France-based manufacturer said it has “no choice than to revisit all current and future product development activities to protect our cash.”
French unions have said the move will cost 350 jobs. The decision was announced just days after France unveiled a 15 billion euro (almost US$17 billion) aid package for the country’s aviation industry.
In Belfast, Northern Ireland, the news was another blow to Bombardier, which was slated to develop the nacelle’s thrust reverser. The Canadian company agreed to sell its Belfast aerosystems plant to Spirit Aerosystems last fall, but the deal has yet to be finalized.
In its Q1 2020 earnings report, Spirit said it intended to press forward with the acquisition, despite being hard-hit by the COVID-19 pandemic.
“We continue to see the long-term strategic value in both the ASCO and Bombardier Aerostructures acquisition. We intend to close both of these deals if all the conditions are met and we are working closely with both parties on those conditions,” said the Wichita, Kansas-based company.
It’s unclear how or if this latest news will affect the pending deal.
In a communication to employees, Bombardier said it was “extremely disappointed” by Airbus’s decision.