31 July 2013

France and Germany fighting for the A350-1000 FAL. Toulouse wants current FAL extension while Germany wants the new A350-1000 FAL in Hamburg.

France warned in Le Bourget that it won't accept any deal between the German government and Airbus on the remaining amount that Germany owes toward the development of the new long-haul Airbus A350 unless the agreement suits the 3 other Airbus partner countries - the U.K., France and Spain.

Germany has already paid EUR500 million toward the A350's development cost and is holding back on freeing up another EUR600 million to get assurances that it will get its fair share of work on the next-generation Airbus medium-haul, single-aisle aircraft.

German State Secretary Anne Ruth Herkes said after a meeting of transport ministers from the Airbus partner countries that Germany "is in very constructive talks to see when and under what conditions we are paying the rest. Part of the launch aid has already been paid."

"We are on the final trajectory, and we are in agreement on almost all of the remaining issues," Ms. Herkes said. There will be another meeting after the summer to discuss them."

French Transport Minister Frederic Cuvillier told journalists after the meeting that any decision must be balanced and in the interest of Airbus.

"I am confident that Germany will pay and that an agreement will be found," he said. But he warned that "if that is not the case, we will recognize that there is no agreement. There will be no agreement that is at the detriment of any other party."

At issue is Germany's insistence on getting more work on future Airbus A320 NEO, notably some responsibility for design and research, work that is currently carried out at Airbus's headquarters at Toulouse.

"When you give someone a credit you ask for guarantees," Ms. Herkes said. "It is the same for all partners that want manufacturing, research and technology benefits for their respective countries," she said.

The discussions will stand by because of the German federal election scheduled for 22/Sep/2013 to determine the 598 members of the 18th Bundestag. Opinion polls continue to indicate that a clear win by either the CDU+CSU/FDP coalition or the SPD/Greens coalition remains unlikely so far.

Based on the article “France wants fair deal on A350 launch aid” published in the Wall Street Journal and on the article “L’Allemagne maintient la pression sur le financement de l’A350” published in the Usine Nouvelle.

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