Air Transportation: February 21, 2002


The eight nations of the A400M transport consortium have reached a stopgap measure to keep the program alive. The problem is Germany, which couldn't get its parliament to provide the required money. The Germans want 73 aircraft, which would cost them 8.6 billion Euros (about $7.8 billion), but parliament would only provide 5.1 billion Euros. The compromise plan is to call the 5.1 billion a "down payment" on all 73 aircraft, rather than full payment for the smaller number of aircraft parliament agreed to buy. The Germans would have to pay huge fines if parliament does not provide the rest of the money.--Stephen V Cole


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