European Union imposes 15 percent tariff on Boeing airplanes

The EU says tariffs will be placed on up to US$4 billion in US imports
The EU says tariffs will be placed on up to US$4 billion in US imports Photo credit: Newshub.

The European Union's decision to impose tariffs of 15 percent on Boeing planes is a threat to the deployment of the manufacturer's jets in Europe, the chief executive of aircraft lessor Air Lease Corp has said.

"This reciprocal tariff imposed by the EU on the importation of Boeing aircraft is a threat to MAX deployment into Europe, a key MAX and 787 marketplace," Air Lease CEO John Plueger told investors on his company's third-quarter earnings call on Monday.

How much are we talking?

  • The list price of a Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner, much like those used by Air New Zealand is US$292 million.
  • The introduction of tariffs to airlines in the European Union would increase the price to around US$335.8 million.

The EU has said it would impose tariffs on up to US$4 billion of U.S. imports in retaliation for U.S. subsidies given to Boeing, though it added it was hopeful of an improvement in trade ties under U.S. President-elect Joe Biden.

The EU tariffs come a week before regulators are expected to clear the Boeing 737 MAX for re-entry to service after a safety grounding of more than 19 months.

Plueger said his company had up to five planes due to be delivered to Europe by the end of 2021, though the schedule was subject to change.

"While our leases specifically say that such tariffs are the responsibility of the lessee, it is vital that the leadership at Boeing and Airbus talk with their governments to work out a solution that is in the broader interest of each country and eliminates tariffs on a severely damaged airline industry fighting for recovery," he said.

"We are hopeful and optimistic that a solution eliminating tariffs on both sides of the Atlantic will be found," Plueger added.