EADS Welcomes Help From France

Head of the defense and aerospace giant welcomed a $6.5 billion financing package announced by Paris to free up bank financing for aircraft purchases by airlines.

PARIS (AP) -- The head of defense and aerospace giant EADS NV welcomed Tuesday the French government's plan to help the aeronautic industry and urged other European states to follow suit.

The euro5 billion ($6.5 billion) financing package announced by Paris is designed to free up bank financing for aircraft purchases by airlines, which could help EADS' plane-making subsidiary Airbus.

"I am thrilled, and I hope that other European countries will do the same," EADS chief Louis Gallois was quoted as saying in an interview with Le Figaro newspaper published Tuesday.

"This is good news for Airbus, but also for its whole network of suppliers," he said.

France's Finance Ministry said Monday the aid plan is aimed to help airlines who are finding it difficult to line up financing for their purchases of Airbus aircraft. It's part of a total euro7 billion package of aid for French exporters that French banks agreed to with the ministry last week.

Gallois, in the interview, also brushed aside concerns over EADS financing needs, saying the company "has no need for a capital increase in the short term."

The French state controls 25 percent of European Aeronautic Defence and Space Co. shares as part of a pact with French company Lagardere. Another 22.5 percent is controlled by Germany's Daimler. A Spanish state holding company owns 5.5 percent.

EADS has most of its production in France, Germany, Britain and Spain.

More in Supply Chain