Leonardo Helicopters / Airbus take action amid Covid-19 pandemic

Leonardo Helicopters

Photo by Leonardo Helicopters

Leonardo Helicopters is unable to deliver their built helicopters due to travel restrictions imposed for the coronavirus outbreak, while Airbus close facilities in France and Spain for several days

Customer pilots are unable to collect completed rotorcraft from the plant in Vergiate in the north of Italy. Alessandro Profumo, CEO of Leonardo, said: “Clearly, at this very moment, the acceptance of helicopters cannot be realized because the crews of our customers cannot fly.”

Leonardo Helicopters builds the majority of its products at Vergiate, with some additional final assembly capacity in Philadelphia. Around 8,000 of Leonardo’s employees are currently working from home and the company is taking additional precautions at its various production plants across Italy.

However, there has been no suspension in activities at any site, including the final assembly and check out facility for the Lockheed Martin F-35 in Cameri near Turin or its plant in Grottaglie in southern Italy, which produces large sections for the Boeing 787.

Commercial campaigns have been hit by travel restrictions, with Profumo commenting that it was difficult to predict the impact across the year at this stage.

On 17 March, Airbus decided to temporarily pause production and assembly activities at its French and Spanish sites across the Company for the next four days. This is meant to allow sufficient time to implement stringent health and safety conditions in terms of hygiene, cleaning and self-distancing.

Airbus employees have been advised to restrict travel to business critical missions only, excluding to high-risk regions; and visits to Airbus from high-risk regions have been halted.

The company said: “Airbus is following WHO and local health authority guidance. In addition Airbus has updated its workplace safety and travel recommendations to employees, customers and to visitors, according to the latest developments.”