The World Trade Organization (WTO) has finally published its ruling on the case relating to Airbus and Boeing, ruling that the world’s two largest aircraft manufacturers both received illegal government subsidies for their commercial aircraft programmes. European planemaker, Airbus was found to have received US$1.5 billion in research and development subsidies, US$1.7 billion in infrastructure subsidies, US$2.2 billion in equity infusions, and a huge US$15 billion in launch aid, including US$4 billion for the A380. Boeing meanwhile, was ruled to have received at least US$5.3 billion of US taxpayer dollars.
Unsurprisingly both planemakers claimed victory in the case. A Boeing statement said that the WTO had “rejected 80% of the EU’s claims against the US, finding no more than US$2.7 billion of impermissible subsidies to Boeing not previously remedied”. The company’s Executive Vice President & General Counsel, Michael Luttig, said that the ruling “shatters the convenient myth that European governments must illegally subsidise Airbus to counter US government assistance to Boeing”.
Airbus also praised the ruling for shedding light on the thorny issue of government subsidies.
“Finally the truth emerges: Boeing has received and continues to receive subsidies which have a significantly greater distortive effect than the