MIAMI – Airbus is considering cutting production of its best-selling A320 aircraft by almost half for Q2 and Q3 to avoid overproduction due to industrial and delivery challenges amid the coronavirus crisis.
According to Reuters, Airbus has asked suppliers to slow their delivery of parts by 40% to a rate compatible with production of 36 jets a month in comparison to its 60-jet monthly output.
The move would scrap Airbus’ pre-pandemic plans to increase A320-family production to 63 a month in 2021 and up to 65 by 2023.
The manufacturing giant said it was closely monitoring the current crisis affecting worldwide commercial aviation and was evaluating “the implications of the pandemic on its operations and the potential mitigation measures that could be implemented.”
Securing the health of the company
Last week, Airbus prepared the grounds for today’s developments, stating that it would focus on the management of its backlog while it supports airline customers.
As the current situation is both a health and an economic crisis, Airbus CEO Guillaume Faury stated at the time that Airbus would implement measures to help the company “navigate the current crisis, protect jobs and secure operations for the months ahead.”
In light of the situation, Airbus revoked its 2020 guidance as it was impossible to evaluate the impact the pandemic would have on the company throughout 2020, specifically as airlines worldwide began to ground their fleets and halt deliveries of new aircraft.
In addition, the company paused the majority of its Spanish operation on March 30 in light of new measures introduced by the Spanish Government the day before. So far, the measures are due to end on Thursday, April 9 and affect non-essential work.
Airbus’ final decision to ultimately halve its production for the next 6 months will be taken at the company’s shareholders meeting next week.
As always, Airways will continue to report on the latest developments of the COVID-19 fallout on global commercial aviation.