Re: ATR-72's and Airbuses

Date:         19 Dec 96 03:06:33 
From: (McLELLAN Alexander, DED/1)
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Mr. Nemec wrote:

>Come on, Airbus has received significant subsidies from the European
>governments, not only for development and design, but also in purchasing
>aircraft through national carriers.

There are lots of European governments, but only four really have an
interest in Airbus Industrie - France, Germany, Spain and the UK. Of these,
only France, Germany & Spain have state-owned airlines, though British
Airways is still the UK flag carrier (by definition, since it carries the
post). BA has (ISTR) only a couple of Airbuses that it picked up when it
bought Dan-Air. Air France does seem to have a predilection for using French
government money for buying Airbuses - but then, the French government has a
similar outlook to the US government when it comes to self-sufficiency and
strategic aims. Iberia is also a big loss-maker, and uses Spanish government
money to keep afloat.

I can't see much difference between the French Government buying civil
transports from Airbus and helping to amortise their R&D costs over more
airframes, and the US government buying a fleet of, say, KC-135s, and
helping to amortise Boeing's R&D costs over more airframes.  I think both of
them have to be viewed in the same light.

What I find more difficult to judge is the case of Rolls-Royce aero engines.
RR went bankrupt developing the RB-211. The  British government rescued
them, & injected lots of cash. The loans have now been paid off, and the
company has been privatised. It seems to be a successful player in the
engine market (without the need for BA to be 'leaned on' to buy RR engines).
Was this a good and fair use of public money? or not?