by Oleg Burunov
Earlier in April, Airbus reportedly announced that it plans to reduce the number of planes it builds by a third due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Airbus’ net loss stands at 481 million euros (about $522 million) due to the COVID-19 crisis, according to a report by the aircraft manufacturer on its consolidated financial results for its First Quarter (Q1) which ended on 31 March 2020.
Revenue fell 15 percent to 10.63 billion euros ($11.53 billion), compared to a net profit of 40 million euros ($43 million) in 2019.
“We saw a solid start to the year both commercially and industrially but we are quickly seeing the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic coming through in the numbers. We are now in the midst of the gravest crisis the aerospace industry has ever known”, Airbus Chief Executive Officer Guillaume Faury said in a statement on Wednesday.
He added that the company is implementing a spate of measures to “ensure the future of Airbus”, stressing that “at all times, the health and safety of Airbus’ employees is our top priority”.
“Now we need to work as an industry to restore passenger confidence in air travel as we learn to coexist with this pandemic. We’re focused on the resilience of our company to ensure business continuity”, Faury pointed out.
The Q1 report comes after the news channel ITV cited Airbus officials as saying on Monday that the company will furlough about 3,200 workers at its wing-assembly factory in the UK city of Broughton.
According to the plane manufacturer, it would apply the British government’s Coronavirus Job Retention scheme, which is expected to allow the company’s employees in the UK to retain up to 80 percent of their usual earnings, capped at £2,500 a month per person.
The developments follow reports that the COVID-19 pandemic may prompt Airbus to cut the number of planes that it builds by a third.
The plane manufacturer announced that while it typically produces more than 60 of its bestselling Airbus A320 jets every month at assembly plants in Toulouse and Hamburg, it may slash the figure to at least 40.
This followed an announcement late last month by Airbus that it had partially resumed production at its French and Spanish assembly plants after implementing “stringent measures” due to the coronavirus epidemic.