The French government is opening its wallet to provide around €5 billion in credit support to customers for Airbus aircraft, hoping to step in with financing assistance at a time that banks have retrenched from making such money available.
EADS and Airbus executives have identified lack of delivery financing as one of their biggest concerns during the current economic climate.
French business daily Les Echos broke the story – which government officials now confirm -- that the money will be funneled through the SFEF investment vehicle, which was set up last year to support banks and also would be used to shore up France’s ailing auto industry.
Although not specifically mentioned, turboprop maker could also benefit from the arrangement. Assisting customers is even more difficult for ATR, since its parents, EADS and Finmeccanica, are not allowing the company to provide financing of its own; Airbus, by contrast, has indicated it will step in and help out some customers that can’t get delivery financing through regular channels.