Aerospace giant is one of Northern Ireland’s biggest employers

Aerospace giant Bombardier is the largest manufacturing employer in Northern Ireland.

It employs nearly 4,000 workers at its plant in east Belfast, which produces around 10% of the region’s total manufacturing exports.

The Canadian firm has been a major presence in Northern Ireland since 1989 when it acquired the world’s first aircraft manufacturer Short Brothers.

Bombardier has faced challenges in recent years, including posting a series of losses and announcing redundancies.

Around 1,000 jobs were lost at the Belfast plant in 2016 as part of a global restructuring.

Last November there was devastation as the firm announced plans to cut 5,000 jobs across its global operations, including 490 in Belfast, after reviewing its “manpower requirements”.

Bombardier also found itself at the centre of a high-profile trade dispute with rival Boeing in the US over its C-Series jet project.

Threatened US trade tariffs placed a major question mark over aircraft production in Belfast and prompted the intervention of Prime Minister Theresa May.

The US administration relented at the last moment and Bombardier jobs were saved.