Airbus blames Germany for delays to export licenses

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Germany's reluctance to grant export licenses for military equipment is putting Airbus in a difficult position, the firm's chief executive has said.

The defense arm of aerospace manufacturer Airbus has claimed that delays in the granting of export licenses by the German government are holding up deals worth billions of euros for its aircraft.

Reuters reports that several nations have expressed interest in buying the firm's A400M military transport plane, but difficulties in securing the necessary government approval from Berlin are holding up sales.

Chief executive of Airbus Defence & Space Michael Schoellhorn told the news provider that as well as orders for A400Ms, there are several other products awaiting approval from the German government. Though he declined to offer specific details, he added that the total value adds up to "several billion euros".

Countries outside Europe that have placed orders for A400Ms, but have yet to take delivery, include Indonesia and Kazakhstan.

The Telegraph, meanwhile, reported that the slow speed of approval for export licenses from Berlin is also holding back production of new Eurofighter Typhoon jets, with Mr Schoellhorn pointing the blame towards Germany's restrictive stance towards arms exports.

He added that the continued delays and uncertainty over whether products will be permitted to be exported is extremely harmful to the company.

"Important exports are not being approved. This puts us in a very unsatisfactory situation," Mr Schoellhorn continued. "We cannot put up with the constant delays (in export procedures). Planning security is essential." 

Germany has long been reluctant to loosen its export controls for military equipment, though this position has softened in regards to items headed to Ukraine since the Russian invasion last year. Last month, it agreed to drop its objection to the delivery of Leopard 2 tanks to Kyiv following months of pressure from several Nato allies.