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Sun, Apr 19, 2009

Airbus CEO Says Governments Should Finance Airliner Purchases

Suggests Plane Manufacturers Can Survive If Airlines Get Some Help

With credit getting more difficult to obtain for new airliner purchases, Airbus CEO Thomas Enders said that governments should provide airlines with financing when other sources are unobtainable.

Last week, the AeroSpace and Defense Industries Association of Europe, representing 17 companies and 30 national associations, met in Brussels, Belgium. At Thursday's meeting, Enders and ASD president Allan Cook called upon the EU and national authorities to continue investing in the sector, and in particular to maintain their level of financial support for research and development activities.

The ASD predicts a $10-to-$20 billion shortfall in funding required to facilitate an expected 950 to 1,000 deliveries of Airbus and Boeing airliners in 2009.

The Wall Street Journal says that Enders, in comments made to reporters after the meeting, opined that if airlines and smaller parts manufacturers could obtain government support, aircraft manufacturers could also avoid job and production cuts due to decreased demand from airlines struggling in the depressed economy.

As ANN reported, earlier this year Airbus announced plans to cut back production of its A320 family, effective next October. When asked if Airbus had subsequently made plans for further cuts, Enders declined to answer directly, saying only that the company "has contingency plans" in the event of a continued market downturn.

FMI: www.asd-europe.org, www.airbus.com

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