The Corona crisis is hitting the aviation industry hard. Hardly any more connections, many countries have closed their borders completely to international air traffic. This also affects the major manufacturers of aircraft.
The European Airbus Group has now given a gloomy assessment of the impact of the crisis. In a letter, Chief Executive Guillaume Faury apparently urged the company’s roughly 135,000 employees to prepare for job cuts and deep austerity measures.
Airbus’ survival would be at stake if the group does not take action, Faury said in an internal statement on Monday, which is available to the Reuters news agency. The aircraft manufacturer has begun implementing government-backed programs to leave around 3,000 workers in France, “but we may now need to plan more far-reaching measures,” Faury said.
To limit cash outflow, Airbus announced this month that it would reduce production of smaller models by a third to 40 jets per month. In addition, targets for larger aircraft have been cut: the production of wide-body aircraft is reduced by up to 42 percent.
The real extent of the crisis could only become apparent in months
“In other words, in just a few weeks, we have lost about a third of our business,” Faury wrote in the letter, previously reported by Bloomberg News. “And, frankly, that’s not even the worst-case scenario we might have to face.” The chief executive said the new production plan would remain in place until a more thorough assessment of demand was possible.
Faury assumes a period of two to three months. He said it was too early to fully assess the impact of coronavirus on the aviation industry and the pace of market recovery. Airbus did not comment on the internal communication.