Airbus A400M countries to meet in Berlin on Dec. 2

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Officials from countries who have ordered the delayed A400M military transport plane from Airbus will meet again next week to discuss the way ahead, after a report of ballooning prices hit the newsstands.


 
"The second meeting in Berlin will take place on Dec. 2 after the first on Nov. 19," a spokesperson for the German Defence Ministry said. "We hope to have a solution that everyone can live with by the end of the year."
 
Airbus parent EADS said earlier this week it was confirming financial guidance relating to the delayed A400M military transporter programme after reports of a potential price increase.
 
German daily newspaper Die Welt had quoted sources close to the negotiations as saying that the cost of the A400M project would rise by as much as €5.5 billion, more than a quarter of the current ceiling of €20 billion.
 
In an article published yesterday, the newspaper said the countries that had ordered the transport plane were willing to take on at least part of additional costs.
 
A Reuters news analysis earlier this week sketched out a working scenario based on 40 fewer guaranteed deliveries within the existing €20 billion budget, which could mean an implied 25% price hike per plane.
 
A deal, which would also ease the threat of penalties on EADS, would give Airbus some relief on costs but involve no new taxpayer money for the time being, according to the article.
 
Unallocated planes would not be cancelled but would remain unfunded until economic conditions improved, it said. France, Britain and Spain were seen backing such a framework but Germany was opposed to changes.