Coronavirus: France announces $16.9 bln aid for aviation sector, Airbus, Air France

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France’s government has announced 15 billion euros ($16.9 billion) in aid for the virus-battered aerospace industry, including plane maker Airbus and national airline Air France.

Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire unveiled the rescue plan Tuesday for an industry that employs hundreds of thousands of people in France, whose livelihoods have been thrown into uncertainty by travel restrictions prompted by the virus.

The money includes direct government investment, subsidies, loans and loan guarantees.

The money will require the industry to invest more and faster in electric, hydrogen or other lower-emission aircraft.

It includes 7 billion euros in loans and loan guarantees that the state had already promised to Air France, whose planes are almost entirely grounded by the virus.

“We will do everything to support this French industry that is so critical for our sovereignty, our jobs and our economy,” Le Maire said.

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