EADS says US decision on refuelling planes likely in 2011

21:27 | 16/11/2010
European aerospace group EADS now expects the United States to delay until next year a decision on a huge contract for refuelling aircaft for the US Air Force, an EADS executive said on Tuesday.

The "contract award date may slip to early 2011," the head of government relations for EADS in North America, Samuel Adcock, said.

His remark appeared in a presentation to a forum for investors at the headquarters of the EADS subsidiary Airbus in Toulouse, southern France, and published on the EADS website.

A decision on the contract, highly contested between the European Aeronautic Defence and Space Company and US rival Boeing had been expected about now, but the Pentagon has now said that a date has not yet been set.

Adcock argued that the victory of the republicans, who won control of the House of Representatives in mid-term elections at the beginning of November, could be of assistance to EADS in its attempts to win the contract, worth $40 billion (29.5 billion euros).

"Mid-term election results will impede Boeing supporters from success on any future attempt to disqualify EADS via legislation," he said.

EADS had run into obstruction from some democrats, such as Norm Dicks a representative from the state of Washington where Boeing has factories. He is also the chairman of the powerful sub-committee for defence expenditure in the House of Representatives.

A senior executive at Boeing, speaking anonymously, said recently that EADS was now well placed to win the contract.



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