A400M Aircraft Deadline in Jeopardy

18 January 2010 (Last Updated January 18th, 2010 18:30)

The A400M military transport plane bail-out plan has once again been delayed, as buyers, especially Germany, are ignoring the end-of-January deadline from Airbus. The A400M programme is now threatened by the €11bn or 55% blow-out in development and production costs that marred its succe

The A400M military transport plane bail-out plan has once again been delayed, as buyers, especially Germany, are ignoring the end-of-January deadline from Airbus.

The A400M programme is now threatened by the €11bn or 55% blow-out in development and production costs that marred its successful maiden flight in December 2009.

EADS earlier suggested that all seven partners – France, Germany, Britain, Spain, Belgium, Luxembourg and Turkey – bear the overrun in production costs, evenly, by contributing €5bn each.

France and Spain have agreed to support the plan, by contributing to the bail out amount.

Germany, the top buyer with 60 planes on order, has criticised the spike in costs and rejected the deadline.

EADS has already spent €2.4bn of the €6bn it offered to support the extra development costs.

A powerful turbo-prop aircraft, the A400M has been designed to transport troops and heavy equipment to remote areas such as Afghanistan.