Unions welcome aircraft builders' Belfast jobs boost

The creation of hundreds of jobs in Belfast by aircraft manufacturer Bombardier was welcomed by trade unions today.

Despite global economic uncertainties and airlines suffering from rising fuel prices, Bombardier has a burgeoning order book.

The Canadian company is advertising for another 100 permanent employees after recruiting 120 permanent and 160 temporary workers in the past couple of months - as well as increasing the amount of work it sub-contracts out.

Michael Ryan, Vice-President and General Manager of Bombardier Aerospace in Belfast, said: “The aerospace industry is currently experiencing an upturn in the market and Bombardier is now enjoying a period of growth.

“Bombardier’s regional and business aircraft products, in which Belfast plays a major design and manufacturing role, are witnessing a surge in demand, and as a result we in Belfast are actively recruiting.”

Orders for aircraft have almost doubled in the past year, from 363 to 698, he said, resulting in a record backlog of work.

Trade Union Unite welcomed the recruitment which comes after several years of reducing employment levels.

Regional organiser David McMurray said: “This union will always welcome good news like this where we see job creation particularly in hi-tech industrial-based industries.”

Earlier this month the company announced a £70m (€87m) investment in its Belfast operations where large parts of its new 100-seat regional jet will be built – it is due to enter service in the latter part of next year.

The company also recently announced its involvement in a UK-wide research programme aimed at developing new composite wing technologies that will reduce the environmental impact of aircraft in the future.

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