Europe-based major global aerospace group Airbus announced on April 8 that it was cutting the production rates for its airliners, because of the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic. It also announced a “solid” industrial and commercial performance during the first quarter of this year.
“Our airline customers are heavily impacted by the Covid-19 crisis,” pointed out Airbus CEO Guillaume Faury. “We are actively adapting our production to their new situation and working on operational and financial mitigation measures to face reality.”
The company has cut its average airliner production rates by about 33%. In numbers, the monthly production rate for the A320 single-aisle airliner family would be 40; that for the A330 wide-body airliner family would be two; while the number for the company’s latest design, the wide-body A350 XWB airliner family, would be six.
With these rates, the manufacturer would be able to continue to meet customer demand. It will also be able to maintain its ability to adapt to the evolving global market. It was also working on a near-term plan to contain cash as well as examining its longer-term cost structure. It was coordinating with its social partners to determine the best social actions to meet the new and changing situation.
On the performance side, during the first quarter it took in 290 net orders and delivered 122 aircraft. However, actual production numbered 182 aircraft, but 60 could not be delivered because of the spread of Covid-19.
Last month alone, Airbus recorded 21 net orders and delivered 36 aircraft. However, this was significantly lower than the 55 delivered in February, which reflected requests from customers for deliveries to be delayed, as well as other Covid-19-related issues.
“The impact of this pandemic is unprecedented,” affirmed Faury. “At Airbus, protecting our people and supporting the fight against the virus are our chief priorities at this time. We are in constant dialogue with our customers and supply chain partners as we are all going through these difficult times together.”
At its facilities, Airbus has, with its social partners, worked extensively to protect the health and safety of its workers. New, stringent, work processes and standards have been implemented. And the group continued to help develop, source and transport medical equipment (including ventilators and facemasks) to support medical health services.