Airbus dives to €1.9bn loss and cuts production again
AIRBUS has been forced to slash large jet production for a second time after nosediving to a €1.9bn (£1.7bn) firsthalf loss as the pandemic continues to send shock waves through the aerospace industry. Revenue at the pan-European plane maker plunged to €18.9bn in the six months to the end of June, down 39pc on a year earlier.
Its crucial passenger jet business was hit particularly hard, with a 48pc drop in sales to €12.5bn after a flurry of airlines cancelled orders to save money following the grounding of planes worldwide. Three months ago Airbus announced an across-the-board cut of about one third in production and this has been further trimmed, with the build rate of its flagship A350 jumbo jet cut from six per month to five.
In April, Airbus cut the number of the bestselling, single aisle A320 jets it builds per month to 40.
Guillaume Faury, chief executive, said “The impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on our financials is now very visible. We have calibrated the business to face the new market environment.
“This is going to be a long and slow recovery. When we have enough visibility we may ramp up production. It is quite likely we will ramp up single aisle production in 2022, but it could be later or slightly before. For wide-body aircraft it will take longer.”
The company burned through €12.9bn of cash during the half year, although this included a €4.4bn deal to settle long-standing bribery and corruption allegations.
About 15,000 of the company’s 135,000 staff are being shed.