Airbus puts state aid demand on hold

11th April 2005, Comments 0 comments

PARIS, April 11 (AFP) - European aircraft maker Airbus has suspended a request for state aid for its new A350 programme amid a trade dispute with US rival Boeing over state subsidies, an Airbus spokeswoman said Monday.

PARIS, April 11 (AFP) - European aircraft maker Airbus has suspended a request for state aid for its new A350 programme amid a trade dispute with US rival Boeing over state subsidies, an Airbus spokeswoman said Monday.

The spokeswoman, questioned about the date when Airbus would seek state aid for its proposed A350 aircraft, said: "For now, everything is suspended.

Everyone is in a holding pattern."

She declined to comment on the dispute between the European Union and the United States about public subsidies to their aeronautics sectors, a dispute that reached a self-imposed deadline for a negotiated settlement Monday with no resolution in sight.

Among the contentious issues is the Airbus plan to seek reimbursable state aid for its A350 program, launched in December.

The A350 is a twin-engine, long-haul plane aimed at competing with Boeing's future fuel-efficient 787 Dreamliner.

The total cost of the program is estimated at USD 4 billion (EUR 3 billion).

Airbus chief executive Noel Forgeard said in late December that he would ask for reimbursable aid of up to 33 percent of the program from the four EU member states participating in the project: Britain, France, Germany and Spain.

The United States has warned that any new EU aviation subsidy would prompt an appeal to the WTO.

The European Commission said Monday there was still a "window of opportunity" for the EU and US to amicably resolve their row, but warned talks could not drag on too long.

The commission, the EU's executive arm, reiterated that it "currently" had no plans to launch legal action at the World Trade Organisation (WTO) over the dispute.

"As long as no action is taken, there is a window of opportunity for negotiations," said a spokeswoman for EU trade commissioner Peter Mandelson.

"While there is a chance to negotiate and to avoid dispute we should try to make good use," she said, but added: "This period cannot drag on for too long because there are important commercial interests at stake."

The US government and the EU on January 11 gave themselves 90 days to resolve their dispute over aircraft subsidies, agreeing in the meantime not to extend any fresh subsidies or to seek WTO arbitration. That deadline expired Monday.

© AFP

Subject: French News

0 Comments To This Article