October 18, 2012
The German government is still holding back about €600 million ($790 million) in repayable loans for the Airbus A350, according to industry sources.
Germany was planning to provide a total of about €1 billion as part of the four Airbus nations’ support program for new aircraft development. Neither Airbus nor Germany’s economics ministry was prepared to comment.
The impasse is understood to be linked to demands by the country’s aerospace coordinator, Peter Hintze, who wants Airbus and parent EADS to transfer more work to Germany, particularly Hamburg and Bremen, and wants management jobs at the companies to be evenly distributed among German and French executives. In March, former Airbus CEO Tom Enders (now CEO of EADS) said Airbus was evaluating the option of not applying for the support in order to avoid the interference.
Since then, the process has been ongoing with no visible progress. In fact, the relationship between Enders and Hintze has deteriorated to the point where, observers say, meetings are impossible.
Hintze is believed to have been the key opponent of the proposed EADS/BAE merger within the German government.
The merger plan collapsed last week after Chancellor Angela Merkel told French President Francois Hollande that Germany would vote against the deal. A day later, EADS and BAE Systems confirmed they were no longer pursuing the transaction.