Support for research and development is a critical part of France’s recently announced €15 billion package for its aeronautical sector as the country’s government looks to use the COVID 19 crisis to develop a world-leading green aviation sector, according to Eric Agote, Head of Unit for Airbus guarantees activities at ECA Bpifrance.

“There are several phases to the plan for France’s aeronautical sector, and the third is  to grow and support research and development  of the most advanced technologies for green aircraft.  The current unprecedented crisis will have a durable impact on the national aeronautical industry’s capacity to support research and development.”

Agote was speaking on Airline Economics’ virtual State of the Market conference yesterday and he said that currently 35,000 jobs in France were linked to aviation research and development, jobs that he said were currently be jeopardised by the slowdown in the aviation sector likely to manifest itself in a reduction in research spending.

Agote said the critical part of the French government’s plan was to prepare for the next stage in development of the air transport sector and integrate disruptive technologies into technologies into an industry that is worth €58 billion a year to the country.

“COVID 19 has devastated travel demand all over the world, potentially this crisis will not just hit not only new aircraft orders but also the spare part manufacturing sector. The aviation industry represents a world-leading economic advantage for France.

It is very important that the crisis should not put at risk and knowledge and expertise of this centre of excellent and its ability to recover after the crisis, and to continue the effort already put in place to improve the competitiveness of the supply chain and to build a future generation of aircraft to reach the objective of reducing greenhouse house emissions.”

For the full panel discussions – click here.