Airbus A400M Takes Off into Uncertain Future
The Airbus military transport plane A400M took off for its maiden flight on Friday in Seville, Spain. But the project is now €5 billion over budget and EADS would like European governments to help cover the shortfall, Spiegel Online reported. Airbus parent EADS is hoping that the governments of seven European countries, which have ordered 180 of the gigantic, military transport aircrafts, will agree to renegotiate the original contract -- one which placed the burden of budget overruns squarely on the shoulders of Airbus. Germany, which has 60 of the planes on order, has so far shown little inclination to accept such a plan. Still, it seems unlikely that Germany would abandon the project. For one, there is no realistic alternative, even if the first A400M transport planes won't be delivered for at least another three years. And secondly, the plane's development and assembly will ultimately account for thousands of jobs in Germany. In addition to Germany, governments which have placed orders include Spain, France, Britain, Turkey, Belgium and Luxembourg. Read more.