France's government is set to lend French banks €5 billion ($6.49 billion) with the understanding that the funds will be used to finance aircraft purchases, a measure aimed at preventing airlines from cancelling orders with Airbus, according to widespread reports in Europe. The government apparently is seeking a way to assist Airbus without directly subsidizing the manufacturer, which has warned that 2009 will be "a very challenging year" (ATWOnline, Jan. 16). "The French state is not ...

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