Airbus is revising its production rates downwards by a third to adapt to the new Coronavirus market environment.
In Q1 2020, Airbus booked 290 net commercial aircraft orders and delivered 122 aircraft. A further 60 aircraft produced during the quarter remain undelivered due to the evolving COVID-19 pandemic.
36 aircraft were delivered in March across the different aircraft families, down from 55 in February 2020. This reflects customer requests to defer deliveries, as well as other factors related to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
The new average production rates going forward have been set as follows: A320 to rate 40 per month, A330 to rate 2 per month and A350 to rate 6 per month. This represents a reduction of the pre-coronavirus average rates of roughly one third. Airbus is also addressing a short-term cash containment plan as well as its longer-term cost structure.
“The impact of this pandemic is unprecedented. At Airbus, protecting our people and supporting the fight against the virus are our chief priorities at this time. We are in constant dialogue with our customers and supply chain partners as we are all going through these difficult times together," said Airbus Chief Executive Officer Guillaume Faury.
“Our airline customers are heavily impacted by the COVID-19 crisis. We are actively adapting our production to their new situation and working on operational and financial mitigation measures to face reality.”
Meanwhile, British low-cost carrier, Easyjet announced Thursday that it has entered into an agreement with Airbus to postpone the delivery of 24 A320 Neo aircraft that were scheduled for delivery in 2020 (10), 2021 (12) and 2022 (2).
The new delivery dates have not yet been decided. The company said in a statement that it will not take any aircraft deliveries during fiscal 2021 and that it retains the possibility of postponing five other deliveries during fiscal 2022.
In addition, over the next 16 months, the operational leases for 24 aircraft up for renewal could be postponed or canceled. The fleet plan for the coming years will be detailed on April 16.