"It's ironic that Boeing CEO Harry Stonecipher wants to step up complaints about Airbus 'subsidies,' considering Boeing's 7E7 will have up to $6 billion of 'subsidies' from Japan, Italy and the United States (Washington State)," says Pritchard, who studies the globalization of the commercial aircraft industry.
"But there are two major differences between an Airbus A380 'subsidy' and Boeing 7E7 'subsidy,'" Pritchard points out.
The Airbus subsidy is in the form of repayable loans with interest for aircraft development, which is legal according to the World Trade Organization, Pritchard says. The Boeing subsidy, on the other hand, is for aircraft production, which is prohibited by the WTO and which never will be paid back, he says.
"Boeing has the 7E7 program to lose and very little to gain by entering into a subsidy war with Airbus," Pritchard speculates. "If Boeing loses, is it prepared to pay back the subsidies and increase self-financing for the areas covered by the subsidies? If not, what happens to its 7E7 program?