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Airbus agreement permits resumption of ECA funding

Airbus has reached agreement with export credit agencies on a process under which the airframer will be able to start applying again for ECA-backed funding.

The manufacturer says the ECA financing will be considered on a case-by-case basis.

Airbus confirmed the agreement as it disclosed its full-year financial results.

Such funding had not been made available to the company last year, it says, but it states that it has agreed a process with the agencies through which it can "resume making applications".

Airbus has been embroiled in a number of investigations into alleged compliance issues, including some which have centred on applications for ECA support.

The airframer says the financing environment for Airbus aircraft has remained "healthy" with a "high level of liquidity" available at "good rates".

Airbus says it anticipates a return to ECA cover this year for a "limited number of transactions".

Its commercial aircraft revenues for the year rose by 3% to just under €51 billion, as the company delivered 718 jets, while its adjusted earnings increased by more than a quarter to €3.5 billion.

Airbus is still expecting to deliver around 800 aircraft this year.

But it says it is assessing the 2018 delivery impact of a new technical issue which recently emerged with Pratt & Whitney PW1100G engines on the A320neo family.

No PW1100G-powered aircraft were delivered during January.

Chief executive Tom Enders admits the engine problems have been "persistent" but that the A320neo production ramp-up has progressed.

Airbus says this ramp-up "remains challenging" and "requires that the engine suppliers deliver in line with commitments".

A350 production ramp-up is proceeding well, it adds, and the first A350-1000 is due to be delivered to Qatar Airways on 20 February.

Airbus says the level of outstanding work on the A350 final assembly line has been "significantly reduced" and that the airframer is progressing with recurring cost convergence.

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