Deal reached on aircraft export credits: report

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European and US negotiators have agreed to reform the mechanism of supporting aircraft sales, so-called export credits, to allow US and European airlines to benefit, the French newspaper Les Echos reported on Monday.

The compromise was reached during the latest negotiating session on Friday at the headquarters of the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development in Paris, and a deal could be announced as soon as Tuesday following a green light from Washington, the newspaper said.

The current system of export credits is opposed by major American and European airlines, which do not benefit from the scheme, and which complain that it helps support their competitors in the Gulf.

European manufacturer Airbus and Boeing of the United States want the export credits system to continue, saying it helps many foreign airlines to finance their aircraft purchases.

Les Echos said according to the compromise text airlines from aircraft exporting countries such as France, Germany, Spain and the United States would now be able to benefit from the aid.

The export credit mechanism will also apply to future sales of C Series aircraft by Canadian manufacturer Bombardier, which did not figure as part of the previous agreement of 2007.

"Barring opposition at the last moment from Washington, these new measures will enter into force from February 1," the newspaper said.

Export credits were involved in the sale of one third of Airbus' aircraft in 2009, according to the newspaper.

© 2010 AFP

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