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Berlin Air Show kicks off with leaders' applause

English.news.cn   2014-05-21 05:36:07

BERLIN, May 20 (Xinhua) -- The Berlin Air Show 2014, a biennial event, was opened here on Tuesday, with applause from German leaders and industry players.

German government showed strong support to the fair, with both Chancellor Angela Merkel and Economy Minister Sigmar Gabriel paying visits to the ground.

"The aerospace industry plays a key strategic role for our economic welfare," said Merkel in her opening remark, calling the five-day trade fair "an excellent platform" for showcasing innovation and cooperation.

More than 1200 exhibitors from 40 countries will attend the fair, which is expected to attract over 200,000 trade and general public visitors, according to the organizer.

Around 300 aircraft of all types and sizes are planned to be demonstrated on the ground or in the air.

On Tuesday, 50 flying performances, including by Europe's most modern military transporter Airbus A400 M, the newest wider body commercial aircraft Airbus A350 XWB, and a Lockheed Martin F-16 fighter jet, were scheduled.

Airbus, which presented with a large pavilion, showed its confidence in marketing outlook. Airbus' sales chief John Leahy said Tuesday that orders received by Airbus would match with or "even slightly ahead" of those to Boeing this year.

The company claimed that its A350 XWB and A380 are more eco-efficient and cost less than Boeing 777 and 747.

Meanwhile, Airbus Chief Operating Officer Guenter Butschek condemned tax breaks worth 8.7 billion U.S. dollars that Boeing received from Washington state of the United States as "illegal subsidies".

Last November, Washington state legislation approved the tax breaks to encourage Boeing to produce its 777X jet in its region.

A conference of "Airbus Ministers", which includes ministers in charge of civil aerospace industry from Germany, France, Britain, and Spain, was held Tuesday in Berlin as part of the air show.

Ministers told a press conference after the meeting that they would support the European Commission to raise complaint against the tax breaks to the World Trade Organization.

Editor: Mu Xuequan
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