Airbus claims victory in WTO dispute

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Airbus has weighed into the ongoing row over alleged illegal subsidies for its arch-rival Boeing, and claims that the US airframer "can no longer pretend that it doesn't benefit from generous and illegal state subsidies".

In a strongly-worded statement in response to today's WTO ruling, currently not released to the public, Airbus says that it will show that without the $5 billion of US government funding Boeing's 787 programme would never have been launched.

In addition, Airbus says the report will conclude that "the pervasive subsidies have thoroughly distorted competition within the aviation industry, directly resulting in significant harm to the European aerospace industry".

The report will stress that an additional $2 billion of proposed subsidies are illegal, says Airbus.

"From today, Boeing can no longer pretend that it doesn't benefit from generous and illegal state subsidies. It has been doing so from the start and it's time to stop the denial," says an Airbus spokesman.

"We expect the WTO dispute to carry on for several more years and as in all trade conflicts, a resolution will only be reached through negotiations. The myth that Boeing doesn't receive government aid is over and we hope this sets the tone for balanced and productive negotiations going forward."

Airbus argues that, taken together, the two WTO rulings give the green-light for continued loan support to it from EU governments and for the end of support from the US government to Boeing for R&D.

It estimates that it has lost around $45 billion worth of sales thanks to the subsidies for its rival.