Airbus partially resumed assembly and production work in France and Spain on 23 March, while Boeing has temporarily suspended the majority of its US-based airplane production activity from 25 March.
Both CEOs have called for government support of aviation companies and airlines. Guillaume Faury, CEO of Airbus, said in a video statement: “We have re-started production on the French and Spanish sites which we had partially closed last week to take the necessary time to implement strict cleaning and hygiene measures. These measures are also being applied across all our sites without full interruption of production, as the pandemic situation is deemed less critical so far.”
Airbus has also resumed activities at its A320 and A330 completion and delivery centers in Tianjin, China. Faury decided to completely revoke their earnings outlook for 2020, saying ‘today it’s impossible to precisely evaluate the impact the coronavirus will leave on our company this year’.
“We’re advocating support of governments for the complete ecosystem across the industry, for our suppliers and customers. For example, through the use of export credit. For our generation these are unprecedented times. This crisis will see our industry undergo deep changes in the months ahead, but we, Airbus, and the broader aerospace sector will emerge from this difficult period eventually,” Faury said.
Meanwhile, Boeing expects to temporarily suspend production at its Puget Sound facility for 14 days, representing about 80 per cent of Boeing’s overall production activity.
Dave Calhoun, Boeing CEO, said: “This is different than any of those past situations, we have a virus, it is going to take its toll and move according to the epidemiologists along a curve and we’re going to get to the other side of the curve. Our job is simply to provide short-term liquidity to all of the industry – and yes all of aviation and the airlines – because I believe we’re at the point of the spear. We need to provide liquidity and keep our industry and our people warm, so that when the recovery comes we’re ready to go.”