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Quebec Bailout For Bombardier

The CS300 may need money for certification.
The CS300 may need money for certification.

As we reported two weeks ago, the Quebec government will bail out Bombardier’s CSeries airliner program with an infusion of at least $1 billion.

Multiple sources are reporting the announcement will come Thursday before Bombardier has to disclose its financials for the second quarter, which will not be pretty.

The consistent thread through the speculation in the various media is that Bombardier will run out of money before it can fully certify the full line of CSeries models. It has enough to finish the smallest one, the CS100, but most of its sales are for the larger CS300, which seats up to 160 passengers.

The Globe and Mail has been talking to someone inside Bombardier and quoted him or her anonymously as saying the bailout is a vote of confidence. “This is about buying time for Bombardier and calming everyone down,” the unnamed source told the Globe and Mail. “The message will be ‘We stand behind the company.’”

Bombardier might have to give up some control of the company in exchange for the infusion, however. The pension fund has been demanding equity in similar deals recently so it can profit from the investments.

Details are expected Thursday.

Liberal MP Says Billy Bishop Expansion ‘Dead’

High stakes politics surround Billy Bishop's expansion.
High stakes politics surround Billy Bishop’s expansion.

A re-elected Liberal MP says a proposal to allow jet airliners to use Billy Bishop Airport on Toronto Island died with his election. Adam Vaughan said he was assured by Prime Minister-designate Justin Trudeau that the government will not back the plan.

But proponents of the expansion, which would require a longer runway to accommodate Bombardier CSeries jets, say Vaughan is jumping the gun on killing the project.

“I am writing to ask why Mr. Vaughan is speaking on behalf of the government elect on such an important issue which affects citizens of Toronto without consulting city of Toronto council?” former Liberal MP Jim Karygiannis said in an open letter to the future PM. “This appears to ignore the process which city of Toronto council voted upon. Should he be correct in his statements, I ask when did your stewardship as Prime Minister-designate start without consulting citizens of Toronto on such an important issue?”

Expansion of the airport has divided Toronto politically, socially and business-wise in recent years and there is an active proposal on the table. To move forward, however, the three members of the commission that oversees the airport, the federal government, PortsToronto and the city all have to agree to re-open the agreement that governs the facility.

Porter Airlines, which has the most flights daily out of Billy Bishop, wants the jets so it can fly direct to most points in North America. The agreement now bans jet traffic at the airport.

Emirates Recruiting Canadian Pilots


Emirates has held pilot recruitment sessions in Toronto and Calgary.
Emirates has held pilot recruitment sessions in Toronto and Calgary.

Emirates Air, whose global expansion has caused controversy in several countries, has held pilot recruitment events in Toronto and Calgary in recent weeks, even though attracting pilots doesn’t seem to be a problem for the airline.

The airline, which flies one of the most modern and lavishly equipped fleets in the world, has been trying to get more flights to Canada and there is speculation the recruitment is targeted to bolster those expansion efforts.

Transport Canada must approve flights from international carriers and its guiding principle is the amount of service demand there is for the country of origin of the airlines requesting the routes.

The government has said repeatedly that Emirates and other middle eastern airlines, which are heavily supported by their oil-rich governments, want far more flights than is necessary to fill that demand. Domestic carriers accuse those airlines of trying to poach lucrative long-haul traffic by routing through their home countries, as required by international agreements, to popular destinations in Asia, the southern hemisphere and Europe.

Don McWilliam, the airline’s country manager for Canada says Emirates is always recruiting all over the world.

We are in Canada, not only from a pilot perspective but a flight attendants’ perspective, many times throughout the year looking for potential candidates to come to Dubai,” he told the Calgary Herald.

Emirates is now allowed to operate three flights a week between Toronto and Dubai.

“Emirates’ position is quite public and has been for some time. Everybody knows our position in terms of not just Calgary but all of Canada. We would like to see increased capacity into Canada from the UAE (United Arab Emirates),”  McWilliam told the Herald. “But currently, and previously, those decisions really lay in the hands of the government officials with the Canadian government as well as the UAE. Of course, Calgary is a destination that we have quite clearly stated that we’re very interested in.”

Drone Maker Aeryon Attracts Investment

Aeryon Labs recently attracted $60 million in investment.
Aeryon Labs recently attracted $60 million in investment.

Aeryon Labs, of Waterloo, Ontario, has secured a $60 million investment from Summit Partners to fuel the expansion of its rapidly growing small unmanned aerial systems (sUAS) business.

The nine-year-old company is already one of the top producers of commercial-grade drones used by a wide variety of companies and government organizations all over the world. Aeryon aircraft have done 3-D mapping of Christ the Redeemer in Rio de Janeiro and help out with the search for victims of the devastating earthquakes in Nepal.

As governments get their heads around regulation and administration of the resourceful devices, companies like Aeryon are poised to take part in a $6 billion a year business.

“This is a significant milestone for Aeryon Labs,” said Dave Kroetsch, the company’s President and CEO and one of its principal founders. “It validates our technical lead in the market and our ‘aviation not recreation‘ approach to building sUAS, which is quickly making Aeryon a first choice for utility inspectors, first responders and soldiers in the most demanding operational environments.”