AFP - The British government on Friday said it would loan Airbus 340 million pounds (394 million euros, 563 million dollars) to develop the A350 long-haul passenger plane set for launch in 2013.
The government said the move would create and sustain more than 1,200 jobs at Airbus's British plants as well as over 5,000 positions within the supply chain across Britain.
"We welcome the UK government's decision to invest in the A350 XWB," Airbus president Tom Enders said in a joint statement with the government.
"This partnership with the UK government means that the UK taxpayer can expect a sound return on their investment," he added.
Airbus, a division of the European aerospace giant EADS, intends to launch the A350 as a rival to Boeing's 787, which is planned to come onto the market in 2009.
Britain's Business Secretary Peter Mandelson described Friday's announcement as "excellent news for the UK aerospace sector and for the thousands of British workers within Airbus and its UK-based supply chain".