Azara Blog: Airbus jobs

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Date published: 2005/01/22

The Financial Times says (subscription service):

About 8,000 new manufacturing jobs have been created in the UK through the pan-European Airbus A380 project, boosting the hard-pressed industrial sector, according to a study.

Philip Lawrence, head of the aerospace research centre at the University of the West of England in Bristol, estimates the jobs have been split about equally between the UK operations of Toulouse-based Airbus and several hundred UK suppliers.
According to industry projections, UK-based companies stand to win contracts related to the A380 programme worth an average £1bn a year over the next 30 years, sustaining 20,000 jobs in manufacturing and a further 40,000 in services.

Britain is one of four European countries to have provided repayable launch aid to finance the programme. Total UK taxpayer support for the project, including £250m to help the aerospace company Rolls-Royce build engines for the aircraft, has worked out at £780m - or about £100,000 per created job, if Prof Lawrence's calculations are accurate.

That's a lot of money to create a job. Boeing of the US also gets subsidies (e.g. because of military contracts) and of course there is great friction between the US and Europe over these civilian aircraft subsidies. However given that the US is no longer a trusted or trustworthy partner in the world, Europe had better subsidise its aircraft industry no matter what, to make sure it can retain an independent military capability.

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