Airbus to seek billion euros in state loans

15th October 2004, Comments 0 comments

PARIS, Oct 15 (AFP) - European aircraft maker Airbus aims to apply for loans worth up to EUR 1 billion (USD 1.24 billion) from European states for its new A350 airplane programme, chief executive Noel Forgeard was quoted as saying in the Financial Times Friday.

PARIS, Oct 15 (AFP) - European aircraft maker Airbus aims to apply for loans worth up to EUR 1 billion (USD 1.24 billion) from European states for its new A350 airplane programme, chief executive Noel Forgeard was quoted as saying in the Financial Times Friday.  

Forgeard's comments were confirmed by a spokeswoman for the company.  

"The development costs (for the A350) will reach EUR 2 billion to EUR 3 billion. We have the right to 33 percent in refundable loans, that is EUR 700 million to EUR 1 billion. If we have the right to these loans, we will ask for them," the spokeswoman said, citing Forgeard's comments.  

The British, French, German, and Spanish governments would be asked to make the loans, even though such aid is currently a point of contention between the United States and the European Union at the World Trade Organisation.  

"We shall obviously apply for refundable launch funds," Forgeard was reported as saying by the Financial Times.  

He added that the programme was "absolutely financeable" by Airbus if the loans did not come through.  

The declaration that Airbus will definitely seek launch aid for the plane will likely further strain trade ties between the US and the EU, the newspaper noted. Both sides accuse the other's aircraft industries of tapping illicit sources of funding.  

Forgeard said Airbus deliveries were expected to rise this year to 315-320 - approaching the peak of 325 achieved in 2001 - and to 350 next year and possibly 400 in 2006.

© AFP

Subject: French News

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