Airbus CEO Tom Enders said that he is “surprised and disappointed” by the announcement by the World Trade Organisation (WTO) that it will delay a report into alleged subsidies received by Boeing which was filed in 2004 as a countersuit to a similar case filed by the US against EU aid given to Airbus.
The delay will see the report postponed until at least September, and comes after a WTO ruling panel found that some launch aid given to Airbus for the development of the A380 was illegal and must be remedied. The countersuit alleges that Boeing has received illegal launch support for the 787 program, and has also received ‘subsidies’ in the form of US government contracts.
Enders said in a statement that the delay showed that the “complexity, interconnectedness and industrial significance of the Boeing and Airbus cases would strain the capabilities of the WTO,” particularly in light of the ruling against the EU. Airbus had previously said that the ruling against it should only be read in the context of the upcoming complaint against Boeing and the US.
“Since these cases were filed, the world has changed. In aviation, the previous duopoly marketplace is increasingly being populated by government sponsored players, leaving Boeing and Airbus as those that, by any objective measure, benefit least from government support.”
Nevertheless, Enders remained bullish about the expected outcome of the report. “It will eventually come, and it will show: Boeing has received billions of dollars in WTO illegal subsidies,” he said.