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Airbus factory staff sent into quarantine after COVID outbreak

written by Hannah Dowling | January 25, 2021

Health authorities in Germany have sent around 500 Airbus staff into quarantine, after 21 workers from its Hamburg factory tested positive for the new strain of COVID-19.

The European planemaker said the affected staff have been asked to stay at home as a precautionary measure, and it is currently determining how the disruption will impact aircraft production at the factory.

Health officials are still investigating the cause of the outbreak, according to a spokesman for the Hamburg health authority.

Authorities said they are concerned that workers have been exposed to the more contagious variant of the coronavirus, first discovered in Britain, that is now spreading rapidly across Europe.

Airbus is one of the city’s largest industrial employers, with over 12,000 employees working at its Hamburg-Finkenwerder site.

An Airbus spokesperson said: “The cause of the cases is still under investigation. We are fully supporting the authorities.”

Airbus’ factory in Hamburg largely manages the structural assembly, outfitting of fuselage sections and final assembly for aircraft in the A320 family, as well as a significant assembly of the A380.


The Hamburg factory also manufactures and equips the rear fuselage sections for Airbus’ A330 and A350 XWB programs.

The news follows that of Airbus announcing it has decelerated an intended ramp-up of its A320 production, as demand for new aircraft remains subdued.

The European planemaker announced that its production output for its popular single-aisle A320 jet family will increase from 40 per month to 43 per month in the third quarter of 2021, and up to 45 in the last quarter of the year, down from its previously announced target of 47 per month by the end of 2021.

Airbus said the decision was made “in response to the market environment”.

Meanwhile, production intentions on the planemaker’s wide-bodied aircraft remain unchanged, though plans for a potential increase in A350 productions have been scrapped for now.

The decision to maintain a stable output of five A350s and two A330s per month “postpones a potential rate increase for the A350”, the company said.

Assembly of the smaller A220 jet will increase from four to five aircraft per month at the end of the first quarter in 2021, as previously announced, Airbus said.


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