The future of the proposed European Airbus project still hangs in the balance. In London?
The future of the proposed European Airbus project still hangs in the balance. In London yesterday (Wednesday) representatives of the British, French, German and Dutch Governments met to map out of fate of the project.
At stake in the meeting is a decision whether to go ahead and build the British Aircraft Corporation Three-Eleven short-to-medium haul airliner, or to drop it and re-entry the rival European A-300B airbus consortium. The Hawker Siddeley Aviation group has already started work on designing and building the wings for A-3008., and would risk 20 million Sterling if the project was a flop.
The British Cabinet held talks on Tuesday in readiness for Wednesday's meeting. There have been no indications from either side of the English Channel as to what terms the Europeans partners have been offering, or what kind of conditions the United Kingdom is seeking to impose for a re-entry to the A-3008. The impression in the United Kingdom is that the matter is still delicately poised and could go either way.
A re-entry to the A-3008 project has powerful attractions in terms of cost savings, Common Market negotiations, and government's own political position over sending cuts.
But the There-Eleven, although more expensive, would off substantially greater employment. a bigger share of airframe work and bigger long term benefit to the balance of payments.