Initially, the aerospace division was launched with the acquisition of Canadair, at the time owned by the Government of Canada and a company that had recorded the then largest loss in history of any Canadian corporation. Politically, the Federal Government could not allow the Montreal, Quebec based company to close, and any hints that it might do so, were quickly met with media stories of the Government's Avro Arrow disaster.
After the acquisition of Canadair, and restoring it to profitability, Bombardier acquired the money-losing Boeing subsidiary, de Havilland Aircraft of Canada based in Toronto, Ontario. A few years later, Bombardier, by then experts at buying companies cheap and turning them around, acquired the near-bankrupt Short Brothers aircraft manufacturing company in Belfast, Northern Ireland.
An important Aircraft manufacturer, building business jets, short-range airliners and fire-fighting amphibious aircraft. The company also provides defense-related services. Some of their successful aircraft designs originated in the design departments of Canadair or de Havilland Aircraft of Canada. The company has been adept at developing quiet turboprop airliners capable of using urban airports with relatively short runways and steep glideslopes. These are selling well in a competitive market and are enabling some less popular routes (sectors in airline parlance) to be profitably served by scheduled air services with relatively low environmental impact at the airports so connected. They have recently mounted and endured some unusual legal battles with a key competitor Embraer of Brazil focused upon allegations of unfair state assistance in export markets.