France: €15 billion aid for aeronautics sector
French Economy Minister, Bruno Le Maire (LREM), announced a €15 billion plan to save the aeronautics sector, which represents 300 000 jobs in the country.
The manifold plan includes new military orders, new export guarantees, investments in innovation, and the relaxation of reimbursement procedures. Plus, the plan aims to push the development of a zero-carbon airplane.
“We have declared the state of emergency to save the French aeronautics. It is a national pride and one of our greatest industrial successes of the 20th century,” declares Bruno Le Maire (LREM), France’s Economy Minister.
“This crisis should not endanger the know-how of this industry of excellence, nor should it impact its ability to bounce back. Without any public aid, 100 000 jobs would be threatened within six months.”
The government announced a new €15 billion plan to save the aeronautics industry. However, it includes the 7 billion euros already reserved for Air France, which ultimately are only loans guaranteed with counterparties. The rest of the plan includes €832 million in accelerated military and public service orders and €3,5 billion of export guarantees to be reimbursed later by airlines.
These are, admittedly, significant cash advances for a struggling sector. The French State chips in an additional €200 million for the investment funds, €300 million over three years in a fund to help the sector’s SMEs, and €1,5 billion over three years for innovation and transversal measures to safeguard employment.
Zero-carbon plane for 2035
“The plan’s philosophy is to protect the aeronautics sector and accelerate its ecological transformation to become a world leader in zero-carbon aviation. The idea is to prepare the Airbus A320’s successor with a machine allowing 30% fuel savings,” explains Ecological Transition Minister, Elisabeth Borne (LERM).
According to Mrs. Borne, the goal is to arrive at a carbon-neutral airplane by 2035 instead of 2050. The aircraft could enter service between 2033 and 2035, with a first demonstrator being airborne in 2026. To reach those goals, the Council for Civil Aeronautical Research (Corac) will receive €1,5 billion of support over three years.