Aviation giant Airbus is continuing to assess the ongoing situation and the impact of the coronavirus, which causes the Covid-19 disease, on its business, customers, suppliers and the industry.
It has, in the interim, announced measures to bolster its liquidity and balance sheet in response to the global pandemic.
“Our first priority is protecting people, while supporting efforts globally to curb the spread of the coronavirus,” Airbus CEO Guillaume Faury said in a statement on Monday, adding that the company was also safeguarding its business to protect the future of Airbus and to ensure that it could return to efficient operations once the situation recovered.
Owing to the novel coronavirus pandemic, Airbus has withdrawn its 2020 guidance.
Reflecting the company’s prudent balance sheet policy and to ensure financial flexibility, Airbus’ management has received approval from the board of directors to secure a new credit facility of €15-billion, in addition to an existing €3-billion revolving credit facility.
The aviation company has also received approval to withdraw the 2019 dividend proposal of €1.80 a share with an overall cash value of about €1.4-billion; and suspend the voluntary top up in pension funding.
Operational scenarios, including measures to minimise cash requirements, have also been identified and will be activated depending on the further development of the pandemic, Airbus said.
With these decisions, the company indicated that it now had significant liquidity available to cope with additional cash requirements related to the coronavirus.
Liquidity resources previously standing at about €20-billion (comprising around €12-billion in financial assets at hand and around €8-billion in undrawn credit lines) were further bolstered by converting an existing €5-billion credit line into a new facility amounting to €15-billion.
Available liquidity for Airbus now amounts to about €30-billion.
By maintaining production, managing its resilient backlog, supporting its customers and securing financial flexibility for its operations, Airbus intends to secure business continuity for itself even in a protracted crisis.
“Safe and efficient air travel is a key backbone of global economic development and cultural exchange. Airbus therefore highly welcomes governmental efforts around the globe to stabilise this industry by supporting the financial health of its airline customers and its suppliers,” the statement on Monday said, noting that Airbus continues to monitor the overall health of the industry.
Additionally, owing to the global outbreak, Airbus has discouraged physical attendance of its 2020 annual general meeting in Amsterdam next month, and encouraged shareholders to vote by proxy in line with public health and safety measures.
In a separate statement on Monday, aviation company Emirates has, as per the latest United Arab Emirates government directive, temporarily suspended all passenger flights for two weeks until March 25.
These measures, the company said, were in place “for the protection of communities against the spread of Covid-19”.
Affected customers have been urged to visit the Emirates website for more information on re-booking, or to contact their travel agents for assistance.
Freighter flights will continue to be operated by Emirates, thereby helping to maintain the “vital” international air cargo links for economies and communities.
NYSE-listed Boeing Company, meanwhile, announced several decisions to support the company as it navigates through the pandemic, while ensuring the company is positioned for the industry’s recovery.
Decisions include CEO Dave Calhoun and board chairperson Larry Kellner forgoing all pay until the end of the year; as well as a suspension of the company’s dividend until further notice.
Additionally, Boeing said it would extend its pause of any share repurchasing until further notice. The company previously suspended its stock buyback programme in April 2019.
“Boeing is drawing on all of its resources to sustain operations, support its workforce and customers, and maintain supply chain continuity through the Covid-19 crisis and for the long term,” it said in a separate statement on Monday.