Snecma president and chief executive Jean-Paul Béchat says the engine and systems manufacturer is ready to be privatised whenever the French government gives the go-ahead. The government owns 97%.

Snecma was primed for privatisation by the preceding socialist government, but the plans were put on hold after 11 September. Conservative finance minister Francis Mer says Snecma is likely to be one of the first companies put up for privatisation because it is "ready".

B‚chat says: "If we are not privatised for a year or so, it will be because the stock market situation is poor." Privatisation will not change the way the company functions, "but it could change in the future because, as we have seen [with Aerospatiale] restructuring was not possible when the companies were held by the state".

Source: Flight International