JetBlue orders 120 Airbus A220 aircraft, formerly Bombardier CSeries, with wings built in Belfast
July 11th: Unite Regional Secretary in Ireland, Jackie Pollock, welcomed news that airline operator JetBlue had ordered 60 Airbus A220 aircraft (formerly the Bombardier CSeries), with a view to ordering a further 60 in future years. On the back of this news Unite once again are insisting that this vote of confidence in the aircraft would translate into an end to cost-cutting measures across Bombardier sites in Northern Ireland and instead mean an expansion in the local workforce.
“This news is a tremendous fillip for the workers at Bombardier sites in Northern Ireland. JetBlue has confirmed an order for 60 Airbus A220s for completion in 2020 with the possibility of further order of 60 of these aircraft subsequently. This aircraft was formerly marketed as the Bombardier CSeries and the name-change reflects the fact that Airbus is fully integrating the plane into their product offering.
“Given that the wings for this aircraft are manufactured in Belfast – this provides great assurance to the Bombardier workers in Northern Ireland. We should remember that only a few months ago this was a workforce who mobilised to successfully see off threatened punitive US tariffs by the Trump administration.
“Management now need to move to provide assurance to the workers that the ongoing cost-cutting here will end. There can be no justification for job-losses in the context of a swelling order book. In particular we need to see the end of outsourcing. The skills base of their workforce in Northern Ireland is a critical factor in their success – this world class aircraft is rooted in the world-class components produced by Northern Ireland workers. There is no sense to outsourcing work to lower cost locations when you are selling multi-million pound aircraft on the basis of their quality.
“Instead of any job-losses and the further outsourcing of work – we need to see the growing order book for these aircraft translating into an expanding workforce in Northern Ireland”, Mr Pollock said.