European aerospace giant EADS has vowed to oppose any bid by Alenia to acquire the Fairchild Dornier 728/928 programme for regional jet manufacturer ATR. The move comes as the programme is frozen after Fairchild Dornier was declared insolvent on 1 July.

Italian aerospace manufacturer Alenia, which sent a team to Fairchild Dornier's Oberpfaffenhofen plant in Germany to examine the programme last month, remains its only hope, according to administrator Eberhard Braun. "It is conceivable that ATR could absorb the 728 programme," he says. Alenia has enlisted an unnamed investment bank to provide part of the estimated €1 billion ($980 million) needed for certification.

However, EADS owns 50%of ATR- and says it will block Alenia merging the 728 into ATR. "Our interest is to make money, and we don't think this is possible with the 728/928," says EADS. A source suggests Alenia may hope to get state support for the 728/928.

Around 1,800 people - half the Oberpfaffenhofen workforce - were laid off last week.

Meanwhile, Braun claims "a whole set of prospective customers" for the manufacturer's components and maintenance divisions.

Source: Flight International