Aerospace Industry in Canada

The Canadian aerospace industry is part of a larger ecosystem that includes sectors such as the defense, space, civil space systems, aerospace defense manufacturing and MRO, and others. Most manufacturing businesses are located in Central Canada. Ontario, Quebec, and Western Canada attract the majority of manufacturing businesses.

The Industry at a Glance

Companies in the aerospace sector form specialized clusters and develop cutting-edge technology. The industry is also a leading employer for a highly skilled workforce and has the full range of technologies, capabilities, and manufacturing facilities. Major companies and foreign subsidiaries operate in Canada and specialize in engineering, gas turbine engines, overhaul, and space technologies. They also specialize in simulators, avionics and electronics, and aircraft. In terms of sales volume, exports account for over 70 percent of sales. The sector is also one of the world’s fastest growing industries, with sales worth billions of dollars.


Major manufacturers include companies such as KF Aerospace, Fleet Canada, Cascade Aerospace, MacDonald, Dettwiler and Associates. Boeing Canada is a major manufacturer and employer with operations in different locations, including Ottawa, Montreal, Richmond, and Winnipeg. With two main divisions, Boeing Canada Technology Ltd. and AeroInfo Systems Inc., located in Winnipeg and British Columbia respectively, the company specializes in aerospace composites and maintenance planning software. Boeing Canada serves both defense and commercial clients. Other manufacturers include COM DEV International, GSC Systems, BTR Aerospace Group, and Spar Aerospace.

Trends and Developments in the Sector

The aerospace industry is a research-intensive sector and is ranked the world’s third when it comes to civil aircraft manufacturing. In fact, about 20 percent of all activities are directly associated with research and development. Leading companies partner with businesses in South America, Asia, Europe, and the United States.

Key Strengths and Advantages

The Canadian Aerospace industry boosts key strengths such as space-based services, manufacturing of robotics and satellites, and component, engine, and airframe MRO. Leading manufacturers specialize in aerostructures, aircraft engines, general aviation and utility aircraft, and business and commercial aircraft. They also specialize in helicopters, advanced composite manufacturing, landing gear systems, and flight simulation. Space-based services and products are key strengths, including overhaul for piston engines and gas turbines and accessory and engine repairs. The space industry offers the full array of nose-to-tail services for military aircraft, turboprops, regional jets, and twin-aisle and single commercial transports.

Financing Aerospace Business

There are finance providers that offer funding to business customers to help them expand and meet their corporate objectives. Financial solutions are offered to companies that operate business and commercial aircraft.

Customer Base and Solutions Offered

Loan providers offer funding across sectors, including leasing companies, financial establishments, service providers, distributors, and regional carriers. Customers also include low cost and leading network carriers, corporate businesses, private clients, private equity businesses, and hedge funds. There are several funding options available, including leases, loans, and business aircraft finance. Financing is offered to businesses looking to purchase turbine helicopters and business jet and commercial aircraft. The full array of financial solutions covers permanent debt financing, progress payment funding, finance leases, and others. Commercial air solutions are offered to customers that operate Bombardier, Embraer, Boeing, and Airbus aircraft.

Other Funding Options

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There are several financing options available to fund an aerospace business, including loans and leasing services such as syndication and advisory services, aircraft leasing, and junior and mezzanine financing. Pre-delivery payment financing and senior secured funding are two other options. Providers also offer funding to manage and acquire equipment and advertise secured loans and sale leasebacks available to aerospace businesses. Lenders offer funding solutions to help customers monetize their assets and lower their monthly payments. Many finance providers offer equipment financing and commercial loans to help growing mid-size and small businesses with turnarounds, acquisitions, and growth. Commercial loans are one way to improve flexibility and liquidity and increase cash flows. There are different types of commercial funding solutions, including structured finance and cash flow and asset based loans. Other options include leveraged employee stock ownership plans and restructuring and turnaround finance. Asset based loans are offered in the form of term financing and lines of credit to help businesses with balance sheet restructuring, recapitalizations, refinance, growth acquisitions, and working capital for their daily operations. Structured finance is another solution for businesses in the aerospace industry which plan to finance brownfield and greenfield projects. It is usually offered to support projects in low-income communities. Restructuring and turnaround finance are also available to businesses with major credit issues. Employee stock ownership plans are offered as well to help businesses with owner buyouts, divestitures, acquisitions, capital improvements, and expansions.

Equipment Financing

Equipment financing is yet another funding option for aerospace businesses. There are different solutions to look into, one being a secured loan to purchase used or new equipment. Sale leasebacks are also offered to help business owners with acquisitions and investments and to improve liquidity and pay off debts. Finance providers offer different types of leases, including synthetic and leveraged leases so that business customers optimize their balance sheets and cash flows and improve liquidity. Major finance providers offer the full array of equipment financing and specialized solutions to help customers meet their mid-term and long-term equipment needs. Flexible financial solutions are available to turn over, manage, fund and purchase equipment.