Toulouse (dpa) – The corona pandemic and planned cuts of thousands of jobs left the aircraft manufacturer Airbus in the red in the summer.
But Airbus chief Guillaume Faury sees cause for hope in what is likely to be the worst crisis in the aviation industry to date. In the third quarter, the group returned to deliver more aircraft than in the first months of the pandemic.
In addition, the management was able to stop the outflow of money in ongoing businesses, as the group announced in Toulouse. Faury even thinks that it is conceivable that aircraft production, which has been reduced due to the crisis, will increase again next summer. But that is not certain.
The crown crisis hit aviation as hard as few other industries. Due to the pandemic and travel restrictions, the demand for airline tickets has largely collapsed. Airlines around the world are struggling to survive. Most of them don’t need new planes from manufacturers like Airbus and Boeing at the moment.
Therefore, Airbus has reduced its aircraft production by approximately 40 percent. In addition, numerous jobs will be eliminated by the summer. However, thanks to the short-term work allowance in Airbus’ home countries Germany and France, “a few thousand fewer jobs” than the 15,000 mentioned above are likely to be lost, said CFO Dominik Asam of the financial news agency dpa-AFX.
Airbus itself demanded the extension of the short-time allowance and promised that 1,500 of the jobs at risk in Germany would be preserved. Research funding could secure another 500 jobs, it was said at the time. Asam didn’t want to decide on Thursday how it would really turn out. With the help of short-time work, Asam wants to keep employees for the production of the A320 family medium-haul aircraft on board, so that production can increase again next year.
Due to the anticipated compensation, the group has already reserved 1,200 million euros. In the third quarter, Airbus sank deep into the red. The end result was a deficit of 767 million euros after a profit of 989 million a year earlier. In ongoing business, sales fell 27 percent year-on-year to € 11.2 billion due to slower delivery of passenger jets. Operating profit adjusted for special costs (adjusted EBIT) fell 49 percent to 820 million euros, but was higher than expected by analysts on average.
In addition, management was able to stop the outflow of money in ongoing business. Prior to acquisitions and client financing, the company recorded an inflow of 600 million euros. However, seen during the first nine months, the negative sign was still € 11.8 billion. For the fourth quarter, Faury aims at least for a balanced development.
Assume there are no more disruptions to the global economy, air traffic, internal group processes, or aircraft deliveries. However, the management has apparently already taken into account the blocking measures in Germany and France. “Our forecast is based on what we can predict now,” Faury said in a conference call with reporters.
The manager did not want to make any further predictions for the current financial year, such as the number of aircraft to be delivered, sales or operating profit. The original goal of delivering 880 commercial aircraft this year was canceled by the board in spring due to the crisis.