France unveils 15 bln euro aid package for jet makers

Airlines around the world have got financial aid from governments.

Now it’s the turn of the companies that supply them.

France on Tuesday (June 9) unveiled a package of support for the aerospace industry worth 15 billion euros - about 17 billion dollars.

The country is home to aerospace giant Airbus, which has a huge plant in the southern city of Toulouse.

It’s thought that up to 100,000 jobs in the industry could be at risk across the country.

The new plan takes aim at the whole ecosystem of suppliers.

It will include an investment fund of up to 1 billion euros to boost the development of mid-sized firms.

Finance minister Bruno Le Maire said France has to save its aerospace industry.

He said the country couldn’t cede its place on the world market to U.S. rival Boeing or up-and-coming Chinese firms.

The plan will also see France invest 1.5 billion euros to support research into environmentally friendly aviation technology.

And it reinforces some measures already available, such as job furlough schemes.

The grand total includes 7 billion euros in aid for Air France that had already been announced.

Some existing orders for Airbus military planes and equipment will also be brought forward.