Air­bus dives to €1.9bn loss and cuts pro­duc­tion again

The Daily Telegraph - Business - - Business - By Alan Tovey

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.

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