Airbus cuts production of planes by a third

European firm slowing down production 'to adapt to the new coronavirus market environment'

by AFP
Airbus cuts production of planes by a third
Workers unload cargo from an Airbus A350-1000 plane carrying face masks from China to Blagnac in southern France, where the Airbus headquarters is located, on April 5, 2020, during a lockdown in France aimed at curbing the spread of the coronavirus pandemic. Photo. Remy Gabalda / AFP

European aircraft manufacturer Airbus said on Wednesday it had cut production of its planes by around a third, as global airlines scale back their plans in an unprecedented crisis for the industry.

Airbus is "now revising its production rates downwards to adapt to the new coronavirus market environment," it said in a statement.  

It said it would now be making 40 A320s per month, 2 A330s and 6 A350s.

"This represents a reduction of the pre-coronavirus average rates of roughly one third," Airbus said.

"With these new rates, Airbus preserves its ability to meet customer demand while protecting its ability to further adapt as the global market evolves."   

Around the world, the International Air Transport Association has said up to $200 billion (184 billion euros) might be needed to rescue airlines.

German flag-carrier Lufthansa said on Tuesday it was shutting down its low-cost Germanwings unit and getting rid of dozens of planes to survive the impact of the coronavirus on its business.

Airbus chief executive officer Guillaume Faury said: "Our airline customers are heavily impacted by the Covid-19 crisis. 

"We are actively adapting our production to their new situation and working on operational and financial mitigation measures to face reality." 

AFP