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Airbus in Canada

From its first helicopter manufacturing facility in 1984 to the production of A220 Family single-aisle jetliners today, Airbus has significantly increased its presence in Canada. With nine locations in seven Canadian cities, Airbus has robust industrial activity in the country, covering the commercial jet aircraft, rotorcraft, defence and space sectors.

The company’s ties to Canada were strengthened in October 2017 with an Airbus-Bombardier partnership that saw the marketing, manufacturing and support of A220 Family aircraft transferred to Airbus’ stewardship as Bombardier’s two C Series jetliners were brought into the Airbus line-up.

Other Airbus companies in Canada include NavBlue, based in Waterloo, Ontario and STELIA Aerospace Group, a multi-specialist aeronautics company with two subsidiaries in Canada. NavBlue is one of the world’s leading providers of navigation charts and data in the aviation market.

STELIA North America, based in Lunenburg, Nova Scotia and Mirabel, Quebec, provides design services, assembly, systems integration, and manufacturing of complex composites and metallic structures, sub-assemblies and components. 


Commercial aircraft

Airbus and Bombardier Announce C Series Partnership Airbus - Master Films - Pascal Pigeyre
A320neo 17 October 2017

Airbus and Bombardier Announce C Series Partnership

Tom Enders, the chief executive officer of Airbus (left), and Alain Bellemare, Bombardier’s president and chief executive officer, celebrate the new partnership between Airbus and Bombardier.

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Tom Enders, the chief executive officer of Airbus (left), and Alain Bellemare, Bombardier’s president and chief executive officer, celebrate the partnership between Airbus and Bombardier for A220 Family jetliners, Oct 2017.

Airbus' ties to Canada were deepened in October 2017 when Airbus sought to acquire a majority stake in the C Series Aircraft Limited Partnership (CSALP, renamed Airbus Canada Limited Partnership in June 2019), the entity that manufactures and sells Bombardier’s single-aisle C Series jets – rebranded the A220 Family, with its two versions designated the A220-100 and A220-300. The partnership markets, manufactures and supports the A220 Family worldwide.

Airbus believes that combining its global reach and scale with Bombardier’s state-of-the-art aircraft and committed Airbus Canada Limited Partnership team unlocks the potential of the A220 Family, creating significant new value for customers, suppliers, employees and shareholders.

Airbus A220 Family 1
Commercial Aircraft 10 July 2018

Airbus A220 Family 1

Specifically designed for the 100-150 seat market, the Airbus A220-100 and A220-300 have over 99 percent parts commonality between them, as well as the same pilot type rating – meaning operators can easily and economically operate both versions; the aircraft join the Airbus lineup to complement the A320 Family of single-aisle aircraft

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The 108-133-seat A220-100 jetliner and larger 130-160-seat A220-300 version complement the existing Airbus commercial aircraft portfolio.

A220 Family jetliners destined for Canadian and other worldwide customers outside of the U.S. are produced at the Mirabel final assembly line in Quebec. Those for U.S.-based operators are manufactured at the Mobile, Alabama final assembly line in the United States, which was inaugurated in August 2019.

Airbus jetliners have long been a popular choice of Canadian airlines: Air Canada, as of mid-2019, operates a fleet that includes wide-body A330-300s, along with the single-aisle A321-200, A320-200, and A319-100. Air Transat’s wide-body fleet comprises A310-300, A330-200, and A330-300 aircraft, along with single-aisle A321ceo and A321neo jetliners.


Ontario Provincial Police Mike Reyno, MHM Publishing
Canada 08 June 2011

Ontario Provincial Police

Airbus helicopters are present in Canada’s utility and para-public markets, with operators including the Ontario Provincial Police – which flies H135s.

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Airbus helicopters are present in Canada’s utility and para-public markets, with operators including the Ontario Provincial Police – which flies H135s.

Headquartered in Fort Erie, Ontario, Airbus’ helicopter division has additional facilities in British Columbia and Quebec, supporting more than 200 operators flying 700-plus aircraft. The company markets and manufactures the rotorcraft, and provides services that include repair and overhaul, flight testing and training solutions. The Fort Erie facility is recognised as a centre of excellence for engineering and composite manufacturing and is the sole-source supplier of 50 various parts installed on Airbus helicopters flying all over the world.

Airbus is the preferred choice of helicopter operators across North America, with a commanding 73 percent market share in 2016.

In Canada, Airbus helicopters are dominant in the utility and para-public markets. Operators include the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, with single-engine H120 and H125 helicopters; and the Ontario Provincial Police, utilising twin-engine H135s to support law enforcement operations across Canada’s most populous province.

Civilian operators include Niagara Helicopters, with a fleet of single-engine H130s for sightseeing aerial tours, including charters above Niagara Falls.


The Canadian aerospace and defence industry is the fifth largest in the world, generating $27 billion (Canadian dollars) in revenue during 2016 due to a strong economic base, a highly-skilled workforce and significant research and development infrastructure.

With regional headquarters in Ottawa, Ontario, Airbus is an established supplier of military systems to the Canadian government. In December 2016, Airbus won a competitive bid to provide 16 C295 search and rescue aircraft for the Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF), as well as related support systems, including a training centre, initial spare parts, tools, support, test equipment and five years of maintenance and support for the aircraft. 

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Read more about the C295 for Canada

C295 Airbus Defence and Space
C295 25 May 2018


In 2016, Airbus was awarded a contract to deliver 16 C295 search and rescue aircraft to the Royal Canadian Air Force.

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In 2016, Airbus was awarded a contract to deliver 16 C295 search and rescue aircraft to the Royal Canadian Air Force.

Airbus has teamed with PAL Aerospace, Pratt & Whitney Canada, CAE and L-3 WESCAM to provide fixed-wing search and rescue aircraft for Canada. Together with PAL Aerospace, Airbus established a joint venture called AirPro to provide in-service support throughout the life of the C295 transport fleet.

A long-time member of the RCAF aircraft fleet are CC-150 Polaris Multi Role Tanker Transports (a version of the A310 airliner), and the military service also utilises Airbus-built target drones.  


Airbus is a successful provider of space technology and solutions to Canada’s government, military, commercial and civil space markets. Airbus’ commercial space credentials include providing advanced geostationary telecommunications satellites to Telesat, a leading satellite operator headquartered in Ottawa. The company’s military communications accomplishments include providing military satellite communication terminal equipment and secure communications services to the Canadian Armed Forces.

Airbus also delivers Earth-observation data and services to government, military and commercial users across Canada. The government of Canada has a National Master Standing Offer with Airbus that facilitates the purchase of its commercial satellite imagery products and data. Earth-observation data from Airbus is collected using a constellation of company-built state-of-the-art optical and radar satellites.

Many Canadian satellites incorporate equipment and systems delivered by Airbus and its subsidiary companies. For example, Surrey Satellite Technology Limited – the world's leading small satellite company – provided the agile bus platform used by the Canadian Department of National Defence’s highly successful Sapphire satellite. Airbus also provided equipment, such as the crypto module, GPS receiver, and star trackers, that are used by the Canadian Space Agency’s RCM radar satellites.

PAZ Artist View Copyright Airbus2017

The Space Systems and Communications, Intelligence and Security divisions of Airbus have successfully addressed many Canadian space requirements in the past. Today, they are well positioned to participate in several significant Canadian space projects (planned as of mid-2018), including SAR Data Continuity, DESSP, ESCP-P, Surveillance of Space 2, and the Terrestrial Snow Mass Mission. Airbus is developing mission concepts and solutions for these and other Canadian space requirements.

The CP-140 Aurora long-range maritime patrol aircraft operated by the RCAF will receive equipment upgrades that include the addition of Airbus’ AirPatrol satellite communication terminals to provide high data-rate communications capability that will enhance their intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance mission performance.

Local partners

Working with more than 650 Canadian suppliers across nine provinces in the country, Airbus sources more than $1 billion (Canadian dollars) annually from Canadian companies as of mid-2018 – spending that supports approximately 17,000 skilled jobs. Canada is ranked ninth globally in terms of Airbus’ supply chain procurement.


Airbus is a frontrunner for innovation and skills in Canada with 48 research and technology projects ongoing or completed in association with the government of Canada’s National Research Council and Canadian universities as of mid-2018. 

Corporate citizenship

Discover Engineering Canada Courtesy of the University of Calgary
Youth development 06 September 2017

Discover Engineering Canada

The Discover Engineering Programme at the Schulich School of Engineering, University of Calagary was chosen as a top-three finalist for the 2017 GEDC Airbus Diversity Award.

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The Discover Engineering Programme at the Schulich School of Engineering, University of Calagary was chosen as a top-three finalist for the 2017 GEDC Airbus Diversity Award.

One of the ways in which Airbus gives back to the community is by inspiring and encouraging youth development through contact with the aerospace industry.

In Canada, to support this mission, Airbus has sponsored an awareness campaign in Montreal, Quebec called “Rise to the Future,” developed by Aéro Montreal, Quebec's aerospace cluster in conjunction with l'École Nationale d'Aérotechnique in St-Hubert, Quebec, the École des métiers de l'aérospatiale de Montréal, and the Comité sectoriel de main-d'œuvre en aérospatiale. The campaign aims to promote training for Quebecers for careers in booming aerospace sector.

Airbus has also supported numerous efforts to improve the lives of Canadians, such as participating in the Heart & Stroke Foundation of Canada’s Big Bike charity event in Fort Erie, Ontario to raise funding for critical research to help prevent and treat heart disease and stroke.



Canada's future

With more than 35 years in Canada and employees coast-to-coast; as well as with the A220 Family partnership, Airbus’ presence in Canada will continue to grow.

Canada will become one of five Airbus home countries in the world – eventually being on par with the U.K., France, Germany and Spain – meaning there is anticipated growth and opportunity in the aerospace industry for Canada.

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