Airbus in talks with French state over possible aid: CEO

FILE PHOTO: The logo of Airbus is pictured at the aircraft builder’s headquarters of Airbus in Colomiers near Toulouse, France, November 15, 2019. REUTERS/Regis Duvignau

PARIS (Reuters) – European planemaker Airbus (AIR.PA) is in talks with the French state regarding possible aid for the company, one of many in the transport sector to have been hit hard by the coronavirus crisis, said Airbus Chief Executive Guillaume Faury on Thursday.

“In crises of such importance, and crises which are as global as this, one needs states to help. States have an absolutely essential role to play,” Faury told RTL radio.

“We are holding very frequent discussions. The state is very willing to listen, and is very understanding of our position,” he added.

French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire had said earlier this week that the French state was ready to provide “massive” support to Airbus, if the circumstances arose.

Airbus had said this week, as it posted a slump in first quarter profit, that it did not immediately see a need for further government support.

Airbus had suspended its outlook and dividend, and negotiated new credit lines last month.

Nevertheless, Reuters reported this week that Airbus was in active discussions with European governments about tapping schemes to assist struggling industries, including billions of dollars’ worth of state-guaranteed loans.

Reporting by Sudip Kar-Gupta; editing by David Evans

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