European Airbus' decision to shut down its facility in China's Tianjin as a precautionary measure to contain 2019-nCoV Coronavirus spread, could affect the production rate of A320 single-aisle jetliners.
"China domestic and worldwide travel restrictions are posing some logistical challenges. The Tianjin Final Assembly Line facility is currently closed," Airbus said in a statement.
In June 2019, Airbus China announced its plan to ramp up the production rate of Tianjin's A320 Final Assembly Line Asia (FALA) from four to six airplanes per month, by early 2020. The deadly virus may now affect the numbers.
Tianjin is home to an Airbus A320 Final Assembly Line, an A330 Completion and Delivery Centre and a logistics centre aimed at improving supply chain management. The A330 Completion and Delivery Centre is Airbus’ first wide-body centre outside of Europe, performing A330 completion activities including cabin installation, aircraft painting and production flight tests, as well as customer flight acceptance and aircraft delivery.
The facility was reportedly shut for Chinese New Year and was due to reopen at the end of January.
"Airbus is constantly evaluating the situation and monitoring any potential knock-on effects to production and deliveries and will try to mitigate via alternative plans where necessary," the statement read.
Nearly two dozen countries have confirmed cases of the virus. Over 24,400 cases of coronavirus infection have been reported and 490 deaths confirmed in mainland China alone.
The outbreak has prompted the World Health Organization (WHO) to declare a global health emergency, several governments to impose travel restrictions, and airlines to suspend flights to and from China.