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Tue, Mar 23, 2010 - Page 10 News List

Germany ready to grant Airbus loan to develop A350

AFP , BERLIN

The German government is ready to grant a 1.1 billion euro (US$1.49 billion) loan to develop the Airbus A350 long-haul passenger aircraft, a senior economics ministry official said on Sunday.

“As far as we are concerned, all pre-conditions have been met and the funds are available,” said Peter Hintze, parliamentary state secretary at the Ministry of Economics and Technology.

His statement implied that the conditions were in line with WTO rules.

Hintze said that “final issues” would have to be solved, notably how to divide up work between France and Germany on another project, the A30X, a potential successor to the A320.

“We want to be sure that [A30X] research and development will be done in Germany,” he said. “We want an agreement quickly. We want to wind up the negotiations in the spring.”

Airbus, a division of the European aerospace giant EADS, intends to launch the A350 as a rival to Boeing’s 787 Dreamliner.

The Airbus A350 XWB (extra-wide body) is described by the company as an eco-friendly passenger aircraft that can seat between 270 and 350 passengers.

Able to run on less fuel than current planes, its development is supported by four partner nations — Britain, France, Germany and Spain.

France has announced support of 1.4 billion euros for the program and Britain about 400 million.

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