PARIS | The French government unveiled on Tuesday a comprehensive plan to support the aeronautics industry, which was ravaged by the crisis of the coronavirus, representing “a total effort of 15 billion euros” ($23 billion), of which 1.5 billion devoted to research toward a plane to be carbon-neutral by 2035.
“We decree the state of emergency to save our aviation industry to allow it to be more competitive” and more “low carbon” in producing the”green aircraft” of the future, said the minister of Economy, Bruno Le Maire, during a press conference.
Approximately € 1.5 billion ($2.3 billion) of public funding will be spent in the next three years for research and development in order to “reach a plane to be carbon-neutral by 2035”, announced the minister.
While nearly one-third of the 35 000 jobs dedicated to R & D in the aerospace industry are challenged by the difficulties of the sector, the objective is to prepare the next generation of commercial aircraft, helicopters and business jets, with new modes of propulsion, emitting less CO2, such as hydrogen engines and very high dilution rates”.
“It is an acceleration of 10 years compared to the initial objectives of the sector. This will enable us to set new global standards of the aircraft in low carbon,” said the minister of the ecological Transition, Elizabeth Terminal.
In order to”accelerate the transformation of SMES and enterprises of intermediate size”, the State and the industrialists of aeronautics have also agreed to create an investment fund with 500 million euros (758 million $) as of this summer, and at the end of a billion euros.
The State, through the public bank Bpifrance, “will bring 200 million euros, the industrial (Airbus, Safran, Dassault Aviation and Thales) 200 million euros also, at least 100 million will be provided by the fund manager, which will be selected by call for tenders”, said Bruno Le Maire.
In addition, another fund of assistance for the modernization of the production tool, which is endowed with € 300 million of public expenditure direct over three years, has been created, he also announced.
In addition, the ministry of the Armed forces will anticipate from this year, the orders of military aircraft that were planned for later, to the tune of 600 million euros, or approximately 5% of its budget equipment, announced minister Florence Parly.
The aviation sector represents 300 000 direct and indirect jobs in France. “If we had not intervened immediately, it is one-third of the jobs in the industry that would have disappeared,” said Bruno Le Maire, calling on the industry to all, “do to avoid the departures forced”.
Alone, the airline Air France has received seven billion euros ($10 billion) of State aid in the form of direct loans or bank loans guaranteed by the public authorities, a sum included in the $ 15 billion plan. This should in particular enable him to concretize the order of 60 Airbus A220 and 38 widebody A350 as it was planned.