French aeronautical firm Airbus agreed to pick up a majority stake in Bombardier's C-Series jet project, just weeks after the US government announced it would impose a 300% import tariff on the plane after receiving a complaint from Chicago-based competitor Boeing.
Michael Ryan, Bombardier's director in Northern Ireland, said the deal was "great news" for the firm's Belfast operation which employed more than 4,000 people and had been put at significant risk as a result of the spat with Boeing.
On Tuesday, business secretary Greg Clark said he welcomed the deal with Airbus, stating that Downing Street would continue to work closely with both groups to protect the UK's interests.
"There is some way to go before the deal is completed and our number-one priority throughout will be the workforce in Northern Ireland," Clark said, adding that he would also continue to work alongside the Canadian government to bring the costly trade dispute between Boeing and Bombardier to end.
According to a joint press release from both firms, the deal would see Airbus take a 50.01% stake in the project to "tremendously" boost sales and the value of the programme.
The agreement also gave Airbus the right to purchase total control of the C-Series project in 2023.
Davy Thompson, of trade union Unite, said the deal was a "welcome development".
"My understanding of the deal, and what it means for Belfast, is the supply chain still seems to be what it is today, which would mean Belfast is integral to the overall process," he said.
Thompson added that while "concerns" over non-C-Series related contracts at Bombardier remained, the Airbus deal would "allow for more orders to be placed", aiding employment across the site in the long-term.
Airbus chief executive Tom Enders said the discussions "started basically in August" and were "not motivated by anything competitors were doing."
"It was motivated by the sheer recognition that the stars were all aligned this time," Enders added.
However, Boeing said the agreement looked" like a questionable deal between two heavily state-subsidized competitors to skirt the recent findings of the US government."
"Our position remains that everyone should play by the same rules for free and fair trade to work," it added.
The deal, which remained subject to regulatory approval, was set to close in mid-2018.
As of 0845 BST, Bombardier shares
were up 1.29% to CAD 2.36 each, while Airbus had moved ahead 2.91% to 79.31 per share.