Airbus makers hit back at Boeing over 'subsidies'

10th September 2004, Comments 0 comments

PARIS, Sept 9 (AFP) - The European Aeronautic, Defence and Space Company (EADS), makers of Airbus commercial aircraft, struck back Thursday at accusations from US rival Boeing that it had benefited from unwarranted state subsidies.

PARIS, Sept 9 (AFP) - The European Aeronautic, Defence and Space Company (EADS), makers of Airbus commercial aircraft, struck back Thursday at accusations from US rival Boeing that it had benefited from unwarranted state subsidies.  

"It's Boeing's subsidies that we should be talking about because Airbus doesn't get subsidies," EADS co-chief executive Philippe Camus told a meeting of aviation journalists here.  

"The level of subsidies that Boeing receives for the 7E7 is a problem for me," he said, referring to a commercial airliner being developed by Boeing.  

"I am extremely concerned ... preoccupied," he said.   Speaking of the 7E7, he added: "There is apparently a whole range of assistance that has been offered Boeing by a bunch of public - state - bodies."  

Camus provided no precise figures but suggested that such aid could be worth several billion dollars.   He was hitting back at recent assertions by Boeing chairman Harry Stonecipher that Airbus was benefiting from unjustified government subsidies.  

Camus said it should be determined if the assistance Boeing is receiving is consistent with a 1992 agreement governing subsidies for makers of commercial aircraft of 100 seats or more.  

"My impression is that that is not the case," he said. "It's also my impression that it (the assistance to Boeing) ... is inconsistent with the WTO (World Trade Organization)."  

Under terms of the 1992 agreement, European governments can support up to 33 percent of the costs of aeronautic research and development through loans reimbursable over 17 years, interest included.  

In the United States, indirect support, through military and space programs, is limited to three percent of sales reported by the entire US civil aviation sector.  

EADS, which has an 80 percent stake in Airbus, was obliged to reimburse European countries a total of EUR 4.9 billion (USD 6 billion) at the end of its fiscal year 2003, Camus said.  

Elsewhere in his remarks Camus asserted that EADS has the capacity to the become the world leader in the defence and aeronautic sector within 10 years.  

"We won't get there next year, it's a 10-year programme, but we will get there," he said, citing a current order book worth EUR 180 billion, which "places EADS well in front in the aeronautic and space industry.  

In defence, where orders with EADS are now worth EUR 45 billion, Camus recalled that the goal is to win 30 percent of the overall defence market by around 2006.  

The EADS share of global defence sales is now just under 25 percent.  

Camus also predicted that EADS would win a EUR 9.7 billion contract with the British defence ministry for the provision of refuelling aircraft.

© AFP

 

Subject: French News

 

 

 

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