Airbus urges China to buy jets over a trade row with Europe: Letter
BRUSSELS - Reuters
China partly lifted a blockade on 45 long-haul A330 jet orders during a visit by French President Hollande last month. Hürriyet photoChina’s decision to ease a boycott of some $11 billion in Airbus jet orders followed a high-level appeal from the plane maker urging Beijing to recognize its support over a trade row with Europe, a letter seen by Reuters shows.
It gives a glimpse into the intensity of the lobbying in the dispute, which helped persuade the European Union to freeze a law on regulating international aviation emissions.
China partly lifted a blockade on 45 long-haul A330 jet orders during a visit by French President Francois Hollande last month.
Behind the scenes, Airbus claimed partial credit for the EU climb-down and cheered what its chief executive described to Beijing as “joint efforts” to limit damage to Chinese airlines.
Writing to China’s top aviation official shortly after the EU back-pedaled on its Emissions Trading Scheme last November, Fabrice Bregier said Airbus had been “very active” in supporting China’s preference for a broader global system.
‘Airbus’ support to Chinese aviation’
“Through our joint efforts, we have managed to ensure that Chinese airlines are not unfairly impacted by the scheme as previously planned,” Chief Executive Fabrice Bregier said. “I hope we at Airbus have been able to clearly demonstrate our strong support to Chinese aviation.”
Airbus, which also got backing from European leaders, says the blocked orders alone put 2,000 jobs at risk.
“Since I became president of Airbus in June (2012), I have made this issue one of the top priorities for the company,” Bregier wrote to Li Jiaxiang, the government official in charge of the Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC).
A spokesman for Airbus declined to comment on the letter but reiterated that the company, a subsidiary of EADS, welcomed the EU’s decision to pause the scheme for a year.
Bregier signed the two-page letter on November 16, four days after EU Climate Commissioner Connie Hedegaard agreed to “stop the clock” for a year on plans to make all airlines using EU airports pay for their emissions through a trading scheme.
The proposal unleashed a volley of international criticism and China - which viewed it as a breach of sovereignty - froze orders for aircraft worth up to $230 million each.
Bregier urged China to respond to the European Union’s decision by swiftly granting approvals for all 45 aircraft.
While Beijing approved 18 orders worth $4 billion, more valuable deals remain on hold as China awaits the outcome of international talks on the problem of managing borderless emissions without infringing sovereignty.