HC Deb 13 March 2000 vol 346 c9W
Mr. Barry Jones

To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry if he will make a statement on Government support for United Kingdom involvement in Airbus. [114709]

Mr. Byers

I am pleased to announce that the Government have just entered into a partnership with BAe Systems to secure UK participation in the Airbus A3XX project, to design and build the wings for the world's largest passenger jet. The Government will invest £530 million in the programme, with BAe Systems investing over £1 billion in design and development alone. The Government investment will be repaid by BAe Systems paying levies on aircraft sales.

The major investment in the UK's leading manufacturing industry will create 22,000 long term new jobs in the UK, 8,000 in BAe Systems and supply companies, and 14,000 new induced employment. It will safeguard a further 62,000 jobs, 20,000 on current Airbus programmes and 42,000 in induced employment. It will confirm the UK as a global centre of excellence in an important area of high technology engineering. It is a practical demonstration of the commitment of the Government, BAe Systems and the UK aerospace industry to Airbus, which has developed over the last 30 years into a highly successful European industrial collaboration. Airbus secured over half the orders for large passenger aircraft in 1999, and the A3XX will enable them to build on this firm base.