Bombardier confirms future plans for Downsview Q400 Program

Q400 Dash 8 LogoOn August 14, 2013, Bombardier reconfirmed its commitment to keeping the Q400 turboprop program based at Downsview where it has been located since the beginning of the aircraft’s history.

The question had been raised after reports that the Russian company Rostec was close to signing an agreement to shift Q400 work away from Canada.

Any movement of the Q400 would be met by intense opposition from the Canadian Auto Workers union which represents about 1,700 workers at Downsview. Language in the collective agreement with Bombardier protects workers, but ongoing discussions with the union and Bombardier have noted that the costs of manufacturing the Q400 are approximately two millions dollars per aircraft more expensive than its rival ATR.

Bombarder has indicated that it is seeking options to reduce that gap including possibly moving components or other work out of Downsview.

Rostec intends to provide an option to airlines seeking to fill the medium-range aircraft market within Russia. As inmporting aircraft into Russia adds considerable expense to the airlines, having a production facility within Russia may be a means to sales for Bombardier as well.

Currently, the Q400 has 36 aircraft on order, much of that production earmarked for Westhet’s new regional carrier.