PARIS, June 9 (Reuters) - France on Tuesday unveiled what it described as a 15-billion-euro ($16.9 billion) support package for its aerospace industry, saying huge numbers of jobs were at stake amid a slump in air travel demand due to the coronavirus crisis.
The plan includes an investment fund starting at 500 million euros with a target of 1 billion to boost the development of medium-sized suppliers, and 300 million euros of other aid to help aerospace sub-contractors modernise plants.
France will also invest 1.5 billion euros over three years to support research into new environmentally friendly aviation technology, of which 300 million will be available this year.
The plan, presented by government members including Economy Minister Bruno Le Maire, reinforces some measures already available such as furlough schemes and export credit guarantees.
“In total, this plan will represent more than 15 billion euros of aid, investment, loans and guarantees,” the government said in a statement. The total includes 7 billion euros of aid already announced for Air France and an acceleration of existing orders for Airbus tankers and other military kit.
$1 = 0.8857 euros Reporting by Tim Hepher; Editing by Sudip Kar-Gupta