News reports that Airbus was cutting production of its mainstay A320 single-aisle jet force the company to issue a stock exchange notice that said “Airbus is closely monitoring the evolving COVID-19 situation worldwide and is in constant dialogue with its customers, suppliers and institutional partners. Airbus is in the process of assessing the implications of the pandemic on its operations and the potential mitigation measures that could be implemented. The company will not provide further comment at this stage.”
The Financial Times reported that the company had already “sharply reduced production of its most popular single-aisle passenger jet and will not return to previous levels this year and beyond as airline customers seek to defer deliveries in one of the worst aviation downturns in recent memory. As well as cutting production of the A320 single aisle family to well below the 60 a month achieved before the crisis, the European aircraft maker is also expected in the coming weeks to reduce the rate of its twin aisle aircraft, the A350 and A330 wide-bodies, according to people with knowledge of the situation.
Reuters also reported that “Airbus is studying a sharp cut in production of its single-aisle A320, its biggest-selling family of jets, to accommodate industrial and delivery problems triggered by the coronavirus crisis, three people familiar with the matter said. Two of the people said Airbus may have to cut its official monthly of 60 A320-family jets by as much as half for one or two quarters to avoid a glut of undelivered jets. The third said no decision had been taken on a reduced figure.”
A final decision is expected before the company’s shareholder meeting in mid-April.
An Airbus spokesman declined to comment.
On Thursday, Reuters reported that both Airbus and Boeing were also studying sharp cuts in widebody production.