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‘Bleeding cash’: Airbus CEO hints at further cuts

written by Sandy Milne | April 27, 2020

The Airbus A220-300
The Airbus A220-300 lands at Toulouse-Blagnac Airport. (Airbus)

Airbus chief executive Guillaume Faury has warned of potential job cuts in a letter to the company’s 135,000 employees.

The Reuters news agency reported on Monday that Faury warned Airbus was “bleeding cash at an unprecedented speed”, and that the worst may be yet to come in terms of production drops.

Earlier this month, Airbus furloughed 3,000 of its France-based employees. Though the salaries of these workers have been subsidised by the French state’s COVID-19 relief scheme,  Reuters also reports that Faury has hinted at further cuts across its European subsidiaries.

“We may now need to plan for more far-reaching measures,” Faury said. “The survival of Airbus is in question if we don’t act now.”

Like other key industry players, Airbus has had to curb production expenditure in a bid to balance budgets.

This month, the company shuttered many of its European manufacturing hubs and cut back on narrow and wide-body production by 42 per cent.

“In other words, in just a couple of weeks we have lost roughly one-third of our business,” Faury wrote in the letter. “And, frankly, that’s not even the worst-case scenario we could face.”

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Reuters and Bloomberg reported that Airbus’ new output plan would remain in place for as long as it takes to “adapt and resize” the company to current conditions.

Changes would likely also depend on whether any potential government assistance is forthcoming. Airbus is currently in discussion with various European governments in an attempt to secure state-guaranteed funding.

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