Airbus CEO labels COVID-19 as 'gravest crisis' in aviation history

Airbus' CEO Guillaume Faury has labelled the coronavirus as the 'gravest crisis' in the history of aviation, as the company announced its first quarter 2020 results earlier this morning.

Airbus A350 which has yet to be painted at Airbus' Hamburg facility. Photo by Max Sutter | AeroNewsX

The manufacturer reported a decline in revenue and EBIT as well in addition to a decrease in deliveries marked by a surge in grounded aircraft across the world. Airbus recorded a net loss of EUR481 million, with group EBIT down nearly 50% to 281 million.

However, as for orders, Airbus recorded a substantial increase, totalling 290 in comparison to -58 in 2019. The manufacturer said it delivered 122 aircraft including 8 A220s, 96 A320 Family, 4 A330s and 14 A350s.

Furthermore, Airbus has said that it is not looking to increase production for any aircraft type for that matter. During its first quarter briefing, Guillaume Faury said current production levels will 'remain for at least two or three months'. This comes despite a slight surge in demand for the A220 after airBaltic, a significant operator of the type, announced it would bring forward its 'plans to have a fleet of 50 Airbus A220-300s by 2023.

AirBaltic strategically announced this decision to further increase its market share in Europe, taking advantage of route cuts and service suspensions initiated by other airlines. Such growth of course, will come at a price - a price airBaltic is willing to pay.

There are, as of yet, 60 aircraft that Airbus has yet to deliver as they are 'physically unable' to do so as a result of the coronavirus crisis. The manufacturer had, earlier this month, 'e-Delivered' three Airbus A320neo family aircraft to Turkey's Pegasus Airlines.

Airbus' consolidated EBIT stood at EUR79 million with Adjustments totalling EUR-202 million. This included Airbus A380 program termination-related costs which amounted to EUR33 million, €134 million related to the dollar pre-delivery payment mismatch and balance sheet revaluation and finally €35 million from other costs, including compliance payments.

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