Airbus notches win over rival Boeing with Bombardier deal

PARIS (AP) — Airbus scored a point in its high-stakes rivalry with Boeing by striking a deal just across the U.S. border.

The European plane maker reached an unusual, no-cost deal with Canada’s Bombardier that sent Airbus shares up Tuesday, boosts both companies’ prospects in Asia and should save thousands of Bombardier jobs from Quebec to Northern Ireland.

It could also help Bombardier avoid heavy U.S. duties that had helped push the Canadian company near bankruptcy. The announcement late Monday gives Airbus a majority stake in Bombardier’s C Series passenger jets, and some C Series planes will now be built at an Airbus plant in Mobile, Alabama.

Boeing called it a questionable deal by two state-subsidized competitors.

It is a rare bright spot for Airbus, which is currently facing growing legal troubles stemming from corruption investigations in Britain, France and Austria. Airbus shares rose 4.8 percent on Tuesday in Paris to close at 80.79 Euros.

Airbus CEO Tom Enders sought to assure investors that the Bombardier deal will save money for both companies by combining supply chains and production. He argued that it will improve the appeal for C Series jets, which have struggled for customers.

“This puts us in an excellent position … with no cost, with no risk,” Enders said of the deal. He added it will allow Airbus to expand activities in China and “strengthen our global industrial footprint.”