Lord Empey, a former DETI Minister and Vice Chairman of the All Party Parliamentary Group on Aerospace, has described the complaint by Boeing against the Bombardier C Series as “bully boy tactics”.
Lord Empey said:
“The launch aid that was provided to Bombardier which came via Treasury is repayable on the basis of royalties from sales so it is effectively a loan. Throughout my time as DETI and DEL Minister I am content that all transactions with Bombardier were consistent with EU State Aid rules.
“In the United States both cities and states give very substantial tax incentives and breaks to Boeing and other manufacturers. The majority of the C Series aircraft, by value, is actually produced in the US like the engine and avionics to name but two.
“What I see the core of this dispute being, given that Boeing did not even tender for the Delta Airlines contract, is an attempt by Boeing – and in Europe, Airbus – to suffocate Bombardier. It is bully boy tactics.
“The manufacturing of the C Series sees a dramatic increase in efficiency and a reduction in fuel consumption that would mean when oil prices rise the plane becomes much more significant. It is not the current version of the plane that is the target – it is the long term project and what flows from it that has got Boeing in particular so aggravated.”