The bosses of aeronautical giants BAE Systems and EADS have publicly called on the Government to support their plans for a £28 billion merger.
The chief executives of the two firms released a joint statement yesterday.
Ian King, chief executive of BAE Systems and Tom Enders, the boss of Airbus parent company EADS, appealed for political support, saying it would create a global company that would be more than the sum of its parts.
Fears have been raised that the move could lead to job cuts. Between them the two firms employ around 5,000 people in the Bristol and the South Gloucestershire area. Another 10,000 people work in the supply chain and rely on the aviation industry.
The statement admitted savings would be made but claims the merger would make the firm one of the strongest in the sector.
Although the merger is a commercial deal, the approval of the British, French and German governments will be needed if it is to go ahead.
The statement said: “The first thing to say is that this is a combination born of opportunity, not necessity. BAE Systems and EADS are both strong businesses with clearly defined strategies that have enabled them to make progress in the past five years, and which would take them forward as independent companies.
"But there comes a time when it is right to seize the moment, and to create something that is even stronger and better.”