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Airbus posts net loss on plunging deliveries during pandemic

Agence France-Presse

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Plane manufacturer Airbus suffers a $2.2-billion net loss in January-June 2020

Airbus announced on Thursday, July 30, net losses of 1.9 billion euros ($2.2 billion) in the first 6 months after aircraft delivery halved as a result of the coronavirus crisis.

The leading European company delivered 196 planes over the first 6 months of 2020 as airlines around the globe slashed schedules and pushed back orders.

“The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on our financials is now very visible in the 2nd quarter, with H1 commercial aircraft deliveries halving compared to a year ago,” said Airbus chief Guillaume Faury in a statement.

Airbus reported revenue fell 39% to 18.9 billion euros over the 1st half – with hefty drop of 55% over the 2nd quarter.

That left operational losses of 1.6 billion euros including a 332-million-euro charge for the closure next year of the wide-body A380 program. Operational losses from COVID-19 were booked at 900 million euros.

With air traffic not expected to return to pre-pandemic levels before 2023-2025, Airbus said it has cut production by 40%.

The firm is planning to manufacture 40 Airbus A320s monthly – compared to 60 last year – as well as 4 A220s and 2 A330s. A350 production will see a “small adjustment” to 5 to 6 aircraft a month, the statement said.

Airbus turned out 9 to 10 long haul A350s a month before the health crisis.

The company burned through 12.4 billion euros in cash during the first 6 months of the year, but said measures that had been taken were beginning to become effective.

Airbus said it would not make any forecasts for next year due to “limited visibility” on the resumption of normal deliveries.

The company last month announced 15,000 job cuts worldwide – 11% of its total workforce – in response to the pandemic, which had triggered the “gravest crisis” the industry had ever seen. – Rappler.com

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