Airbus executive says time for Germany to pay A350 loan in full

Politics Reuters

Germany should pay the remaining 600 million euros of a disputed development loan for Airbus's A350 passenger plane now the aircraft maker has allocated work to German employees, an Airbus executive said.

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The German government had demanded that Airbus guarantee a certain amount of the work on the lightweight A350 plane would be done in Germany as a condition for paying out the remaining part of the loan.

Chief Operating Officer Guenter Butschek told newspaper Tagesspiegel Airbus had now assigned 4,000 of the A350 jobs to Germany, 250 percent more than targeted, while the German share of development was significantly above the one-third promised.

"We have therefore far exceeded our promises and believe there is now no reason to withhold the remaining payment," he said in an interview published on Saturday.

"The ball is now in the government's court," he was quoted as saying.

A government spokeswoman was not immediately available to comment on Saturday.

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Butschek told the paper the A350 project was moving forward without the loan and that the first plane was on track to be delivered in the second half of 2014. The A350 is designed to compete with Boeing's 787 Dreamliner and the larger Boeing 777.

(Reporting by Georg Merziger and Gernot Heller; Writing by Victoria Bryan; Editing by Catherine Evans)