Bombardier Aerospace, one of the world’s leading aircraft manufacturers, announced it started producing components at a transitional facility in Morocco.
“This is a very exciting milestone for us as we start to see our operation in Morocco take form,” said Hugo Brouillard, General Manager, Bombardier Aerospace, Morocco.
The group said in a release that 18 aircraft assemblers, who have just graduated from the Moroccan Institut des Métiers de l’Aéronautique (IMA), began production of the first Bombardier components to come out of its Moroccan manufacturing facility.
“With 18 new local employees fully engaged and trained in the Bombardier manufacturing process and philosophy, this is the first step towards a long future of quality component manufacturing at another world-class Bombardier facility, the general manager said.
Bombardier had announced its project to build a manufacturing facility in Morocco in November 2011.
However, as the timeline for the construction of the new facility has been extended by about a year to early 2014, and as Bombardier was keen on maintaining the timeline for production, it has set up operations in a transitional facility located at the Mohammed V International Airport in the Greater Casablanca region, near its future permanent facility.
The plant is located in a zone that offers five years of financial incentives, including no taxes for five years and rates of 8.75 per cent for an additional 20 years and 17.5 per cent thereafter.
The transitional manufacturing facility in Morocco is currently producing simple structures including flight controls for the CRJ Series aircraft.
The employees will initially make flaps and ailerons, a part of the wing — work that was previously done in Belfast, Northern Ireland.
The decision to transfer the package to Casablanca was made to free floor space in the Belfast production unit and optimize production there for the CSeries, according to a spokeswoman of the transportation giant.
The Morocco-based facility is expected to employ approximately 100 fully trained aircraft assemblers by year-end. The figure is to jump to 850 in eight years.
Other aerospace manufacturers have transferred their plants to Morocco, which has developed aerospace training programs to provide skilled workers and which grants luring incentives to investors.
Bombardier, headquartered in Montréal, Canada, said it has received 382 commitments for the CSeries from 14 customers, including 148 firm orders and 134 options.