WTO informs EU, US on Airbus-Boeing dispute

In-production Boeing 787 Dreamliner aircraft for Air India and other airlines sit on the tarmac at the Boeing production facility at Paine Field in Everett, Washington, on February 17. A seven-year dispute between aerospace giants Airbus and Boeing comes to a head on Wednesday when the World Trade Organization rules on an EU complaint against US government support for Boeing

The World Trade Organization ruled on Wednesday on a marathon state-aid dispute between aerospace groups Boeing and Airbus, informing both sides of its decision, a trade source said.

The ruling, given confidentially at this stage, is on a European Union appeal against US state aid to Boeing.

The WTO action on the ruling brings to a head the seven-year battle between the aerospace giants in the world's most costly trade dispute.

The EU is representing European aircraft maker Airbus and the US government, Boeing.

The conclusions might not be immediately known, trade sources said.

"This confidential report will be made public at a later date, hopefully by mid-March," a source told AFP on Tuesday.

The date of publication will depend on the number of remarks then submitted by the two parties.

There are two cases lodged with the WTO -- one by Boeing against allegedly illegal subsidies for Airbus and a second by Airbus, which made the same claim against its industry rival.

The EU responded in December to a WTO deadline to say how it intends to comply with the body's ruling to end unfair aid in the battle.

The United States has threatened sanctions as it claims the EU has not only failed to comply with a WTO ruling against subsidies to Airbus but also had even provided it with new aid.

Airbus has taken a big lead recently over Boeing in terms of orders for new aircraft booked.