Airbus feels full impact of worldwide aviation sector grounding

Airbus Broughton

Plane maker Airbus has seen a 39% reduction in interim revenues, it reported today.

The group, which employs around 6,000 staff at its wing-making plant in Broughton, near Chester, has been badly hit by the global downturn in the aviation sector following the coronavirus pandemic.

Earlier this month it announced that Broughton would bear the brunt of a group-wide redundancy exercise, with plans to cut almost a quarter of its workforce.

It announced today that revenues for the six months to June 30, had fallen from €30.866bn to €18.948bn.

Earnings before interest and tax showed a deficit of €1.56bn compared with a surplus of €2.093bn the previous year.

However, it said strong liquidity underpins its business resilience and flexibility.

Chief executive Guillaume Faury, said: “The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on our financials is now very visible in the second quarter, with H1 commercial aircraft deliveries halving compared to a year ago.

“We have calibrated the business to face the new market environment on an industrial basis and the supply chain is now working in line with the new plan.

“It is our ambition to not consume cash before M&A and customer financing in H2 2020.

“We face a difficult situation with uncertainty ahead, but with the decisions we have taken, we believe we are adequately positioned to navigate these challenging times in our industry.”

Net commercial aircraft orders totalled 298 (H1 2019: 88 aircraft), including eight aircraft in Q2, with the order backlog comprising 7,584 commercial aircraft as of 30 June 2020.

However, there were around 50% fewer deliveries of aircraft, year-on-year.

A total of 196 commercial aircraft were delivered (H1 2019: 389 aircraft).

The group said commercial aircraft are now being produced at rates in accordance with the new production plan announced in April 2020, in response to the COVID-19 situation.