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February 27, 2024
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Boeing filed its complaint against Bombardier in early June.  Here we are, two weeks away from a decision by the Dept. of Commerce and the UK is now reaching out to the US government to seek help for Bombardier.  Where have they been?

Several weeks ago we had an exchange with a contact in Belfast, who was surprised by the news. The forthcoming impact on the Shorts factory in Belfast was not comprehended.  It has now, apparently.  This “working tirelessly” claim looks like a joke.  Have these people been asleep at the switch?

The threat was manifest eight plus weeks ago.  What bargaining chips does the UK have?  Well, there is the Chinook buyBoeing is not even vaguely threatened by this deal – what else could the UK buy? Canada has muttered about not buying Super Hornets – but is looking at Australian Hornets as an interim step.  Boeing must be laughing.  Is there any surprise Boeing walked away from discussions with the Canadian government?

Boeing is not concerned with Canada or the UK because neither can go anywhere to get what they need at economically (make that politically) acceptable prices.  They will end up back in Boeing’s customer listing, so the threats against Boeing are meaningless.  If Canada were to publicly announce its intention to acquire Rafales now, for example, the threat might have teeth.  But small teeth.  (Why doesn’t Canada get F-35s? What about a deal with the very hungry SAAB?)  Neither the UK nor Canada has the desire to spend what they need to buy equipment for their military to free them from Boeing’s clutches.

Perhaps the Canadian and UK governments have a still secret plan set for unveiling September 26th. Could they bring the British Commonwealth to bear?  We are not betting on it.  It really looks like too little and too late.

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Co-Founder AirInsight. My previous life includes stints at Shell South Africa, CIC Research, and PA Consulting. Got bitten by the aviation bug and ended up an Avgeek. Then the data bug got me, making me a curious Avgeek seeking data-driven logic. Also, I appreciate conversations with smart people from whom I learn so much. Summary: I am very fortunate to work with and converse with great people.

1 thought on “Boeing vs Bombardier: The UK comes late to the party

  1. Now about the involvement of the UK into Boeing’s complaint: Maybe it is not about Boeing itself more about the rise of protectionism in the USA. Remember that Airbus as lost the USAF tanker contract after Boeing’s lawyer win the case, this morning we just learn that CAE just lost a contract to the US Air Force for the training of the rotary wings pilot because the company who had the contract before has contested the decision.

    From my side of the border, I see the rise of protectionism in the US and I am pretty sure that leaders from other countries see the same and feel the have to take action before it is too late. On the 25th of September, US trade regulators will impose one of the most ridiculous decision that any tribunal can take. After all, Bombardier as not delivered a single C Series un the US yet and everybody agrees to say that the real threat to Boeing is the CS500 an aircraft that does not even exist yet. So Bombardier will be punished for a crime that is not committed yet. From the moment the penalties are known, the spotlight from all around the world will turn not towards Bombardier or Boeing but towards the USA and the rise of protectionism.

    So what worries the world leaders right now is not the fate of Bombardier and the C Series but it’s more about who will be next? Because if Boeing wins, the US trade commission may become an open bar where all US companies can deposit a complaint against their competitor in the US market.

    Your right to say that UK and Canada have limited ways against Boeing alone. But can the USA afford a commercial war against Canada? The answer is yes. Can the USA afford a commercial war against UK? Then the answer is not so evident. But can the USA afford a commercial war against Australia, Canada and the UK at the same time? Then the answer become more evident but on the negative side.

    Countries like Canada and UK could probably deposit a complaint against USA as not signed the the Paris agreement about climatic changes. When it comes to environment, USA are alone and vulnerable.

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