Tag Archives: Airbus

Airbus reduces its production rate by one third

Airbus has made this announcement:

  • Business impacted by COVID-19 pandemic 
  • 21 net orders and 36 deliveries in March 2020
  • 290 net orders and 122 deliveries in Q1 2020
  • Production rates revised downwards adapting to new market environment

After a solid commercial and industrial performance at the beginning of the year, Airbus (stock exchange symbol: AIR) is now revising its production rates downwards to adapt to the new Coronavirus market environment.

In Q1 2020, Airbus booked 290 net commercial aircraft orders and delivered 122 aircraft.

A further 60 aircraft were produced during the quarter, highlighting the solid industrial performance, however they remain undelivered due to the evolving COVID-19 pandemic.

36 aircraft were delivered in March across the different aircraft families, down from 55 in February 2020. This reflects customer requests to defer deliveries, as well as other factors related to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

The new average production rates going forward have been set as follows:

  • A320 to rate 40 per month
  • A330 to rate 2 per month
  • A350 to rate 6 per month

This represents a reduction of the pre-coronavirus average rates of roughly one third. With these new rates, Airbus preserves its ability to meet customer demand while protecting its ability to further adapt as the global market evolves.

Airbus is working in coordination with its social partners to define the most appropriate social measures to adapt to this new and evolving situation. Airbus is also addressing a short-term cash containment plan as well as its longer-term cost structure.

“The impact of this pandemic is unprecedented. At Airbus, protecting our people and supporting the fight against the virus are our chief priorities at this time. We are in constant dialogue with our customers and supply chain partners as we are all going through these difficult times together”, said Airbus Chief Executive Officer Guillaume Faury. “Our airline customers are heavily impacted by the COVID-19 crisis. We are actively adapting our production to their new situation and working on operational and financial mitigation measures to face reality.”

In its effort to support the fight against the COVID-19, Airbus has carried out extensive work in coordination with social partners to ensure the health and safety of its employees. This has been achieved by implementing new stringent work standards and processes. Airbus is contributing to the development, sourcing and ferrying of medical equipment, including facemasks and ventilators, in support of medical health services.

Airbus A350-1000 deployed in fight against COVID-19

Airbus has made this announcement:

Airbus continues to purchase and supply millions of face masks from China, the large majority of which will be donated to governments of the Airbus home countries, namely France, Germany, Spain and the UK.

An Airbus flight test crew has just completed its latest mission with an A350-1000 test aircraft. This is the third of such missions between Europe and China. The aircraft returned to France with a cargo of 4 million face masks on Sunday 5 April.

The A350-1000 left Toulouse, France, on Friday 3 April, reaching the Airbus site in Tianjin, China on 4 April and returning to Hamburg the same day.

Since mid-March, the previous two missions were performed by an A330-800 and an A330 Multi-Role Tanker Transport (MRTT). Airbus also deployed an A400M and its Beluga fleet to transport shipments of masks between its European sites, in France, Germany, the UK and Spain.

Airbus will continue to support the fight against the Coronavirus pandemic wherever possible.

“I would like to pay tribute to all the Airbus teams, globally, supporting the fight against COVID-19. They’re living our values in assisting those who are saving lives every day”, said Guillaume Faury, Airbus CEO. ”

Airbus is focused on the health and safety of its employees and supporting its customers and the industry eco-system with business continuity. At the same time Airbus is contributing to many vital public and private services and working with partners who rely on aircraft, helicopters, space and security solutions to carry out life-saving missions in support of the global pandemic.

Airbus is deploying its employees, their expertise and know-how and leveraging technology in this fight against the COVID-19 pandemic, for example in designing and manufacturing ventilators and 3D printed visors which are critical resources for hospitals.

The Company is partnering with other organisations in unprecedented ways to achieve this goal as fast as possible.

Airbus announces measures to bolster liquidity and balance sheet in response to coronavirus

Airbus has made this announcement:

  • New € 15 billion credit facility
  • Withdrawal of 2019 dividend proposal with cash value of € 1.4 billion
  • Suspension of top up pension funding 
  • 2020 guidance withdrawn
  • Strong focus on support to customers and delivery

Airbus SE (stock exchange symbol: AIR) announces measures to bolster its liquidity and balance sheet in response to the COVID-19 pandemic as it continues to assess the ongoing situation and the impact on its business, customers, suppliers and the industry as a whole.

“Our first priority is protecting people while supporting efforts globally to curb the spread of the coronavirus. We are also safeguarding our business to protect the future of Airbus and to ensure we can return to efficient operations once the situation recovers. We have withdrawn our 2020 guidance due to the volatility of the situation. At the same time, we are committed to securing the liquidity of the Company at all times through a prudent balance sheet policy. I am convinced that Airbus and the broader aerospace sector will overcome this critical period,” said Airbus Chief Executive Officer Guillaume Faury.

Reflecting the Company’s prudent balance sheet policy and to ensure financial flexibility, Airbus’ management has received approval from the Board of Directors to: secure a new credit facility amounting to € 15 billion in addition to the existing € 3 billion revolving credit facility; withdraw the 2019 dividend proposal of € 1.80 per share with an overall cash value of approximately € 1.4 billion; and suspend the voluntary top up in pension funding. Given the limited visibility due to the evolving COVID-19 situation, the 2020 guidance is withdrawn. Operational scenarios, including measures to minimise cash requirements, have been identified and will be activated depending on the further development of the pandemic.

With these decisions, the Company has significant liquidity available to cope with additional cash requirements related to the coronavirus. Liquidity resources previously standing at approximately € 20 billion, comprising around € 12 billion in financial assets at hand and around € 8 billion in undrawn credit lines, were further bolstered by converting an existing € 5 billion credit line into a new facility amounting to € 15 billion. Available liquidity now amounts to approximately € 30 billion.

By maintaining production, managing its resilient backlog, supporting its customers and securing financial flexibility for its operations, Airbus intends to secure business continuity for itself even in a protracted crisis. Safe and efficient air travel is a key backbone of global economic development and cultural exchange. Airbus therefore highly welcomes governmental efforts around the globe to stabilise this industry by supporting the financial health of its airline customers and its suppliers. Airbus continues to monitor the overall health of the industry.

Airbus has convened its 2020 Annual General Meeting in Amsterdam on 16 April. Due to the global outbreak of COVID-19, Airbus discourages physical attendance and strongly encourages shareholders to vote by proxy in line with public health and safety measures.

Airbus statement on USTR decision regarding tariffs

Airbus issued this statement:

Airbus deeply regrets USTR’s decision to increase tariffs on aircraft imported from the EU as well as the decision to maintain tariffs on goods from other sectors.

USTR’s decision to impose tariffs further escalates trade tensions between the US and the EU, thereby creating more instability for US airlines that are already suffering from a shortage of aircraft.

USTR’s decision ignores the many submissions made by US airlines, highlighting the fact that they – and the US flying public – will ultimately have to pay these tariffs.

Airbus will continue its discussions with its US customers and work with them to mitigate effects of tariffs insofar as possible.

Airbus has and will continue to push for a negotiated settlement to this 15-year-long dispute. USTR’s further escalation complicates efforts to find a negotiated outcome to this dispute. This is regrettable.

Airbus hopes that USTR’s position will change, especially when the WTO will authorize the EU to impose tariffs on Boeing aircraft, including the 737Max, 787 and 777 aircraft in the May/June timeframe.

Airbus A330-800 receives joint EASA and FAA Type Certification

The Airbus A330-800 has received joint Type Certification from the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) and the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). The aircraft’s certification flight-test campaign was successfully performed by aircraft MSN1888, which completed the programme in 370 flight test hours and 132 flights since its first flight in November 2018.

The A330-800, part of a true new-generation A330neo family, is the most efficient longest range entry-level widebody and incorporates new Rolls-Royce Trent 7000 engines, a new 3D-optimised wing and new Sharklets using lighter composite materials. Together, these advances bring a significant reduction in fuel consumption of 25 per cent compared with older generation competitor aircraft of similar size.

Certified initially with a maximum take-off weight (MTOW) of 242 tons for a range capability of up to 7,500 nautical miles, the A330-800 will typically seat 220 to 260 passengers in three classes, or up to 406 travellers in a single-class high-density configuration. To date the A330neo Family has won 337 firm orders from 22 operators.

In the A330-800, passengers can expect the highest levels of comfort, with the aircraft featuring the award-winning Airspace by Airbus cabin with larger overhead storage, advanced cabin mood lighting and the latest in-flight entertainment and connectivity. Operationally, the A330neo shares a common pilot type-rating with the larger A350 XWB, which facilitates minimum flight training cost and maximum pilot productivity. Maintenance personnel will also benefit from the aircraft’s new Skywise data connectivity features which will help them to predict potential issues before they arise, thus ensuring maximum productivity of the aircraft in revenue service.

The A330 is the most popular widebody family ever, operating over one million flights every year. It has received over 1,800 orders from 120 customers with 1,400 A330s currently in operation today. The A330neo is the latest addition to the leading Airbus widebody Family, which also includes the A350 XWB, featuring unmatched space and comfort combined with unprecedented efficiency levels and unrivaled range capability.

Airbus A330-841N F-WWTO (msn 1888) TLS (Paul Bannwarth). Image: 949077.

Above Copyright Photo: Airbus A330-841N F-WWTO (msn 1888) TLS (Paul Bannwarth). Image: 949077.

Bombardier completes its strategic exit from the Airbus A220 program

Airbus SE, the Government of Québec and  Bombardier Inc. have agreed upon a new ownership structure for the A220 program, whereby Bombardier transferred its remaining shares in Airbus Canada Limited Partnership (Airbus Canada) to Airbus and the Government of Québec. The transaction is effective immediately.

This agreement brings the shareholdings in Airbus Canada, responsible for the A220, to 75 percent for Airbus and 25 percent for the Government of Québec respectively. The Government’s stake is redeemable by Airbus in 2026 – three years later than before. As part of this transaction, Airbus, via its wholly owned subsidiary Stelia Aerospace, has also acquired the A220 and A330 work package production capabilities from Bombardier in Saint-Laurent, Québec.

This new agreement underlines the commitment of Airbus and the Government of Québec to the A220 programme during this phase of continuous ramp-up and increasing customer demand. Since Airbus took majority ownership of the A220 programme on July 1, 2018, total cumulative net orders for the aircraft have increased by 64 percent to 658 units at the end of January 2020.

With this transaction, Bombardier will receive a consideration of $591M from Airbus, net of adjustments, of which $531M was received at closing and $60M to be paid over the 2020-21 period. The agreement also provides for the cancellation of Bombardier warrants owned by Airbus, as well as releasing Bombardier of its future funding capital requirement to Airbus Canada.

“This transaction supports our efforts to address our capital structure and completes our strategic exit from commercial aerospace,” said Alain Bellemare, President and CEO Bombardier, Inc.  “We are incredibly proud of the many achievements and tremendous impact Bombardier had on the commercial aviation industry.  We are equally proud of the responsible way in which we have exited commercial aerospace, preserving jobs and reinforcing the aerospace cluster in Québec and Canada.  We are confident that the A220 program will enjoy a long and successful run under Airbus’ and the Government of Québec’s stewardship.”

The single aisle market is a key growth driver, representing 70 percent of the expected global future demand for aircraft. Ranging from 100 to 150 seats, the A220 is highly complementary to Airbus’ existing single aisle aircraft portfolio, which focuses on the higher end of the single-aisle business (150-240 seats).

As part of the agreement, Airbus has acquired the Airbus A220 and A330 work package production capability from Bombardier in Saint-Laurent, Québec. These production activities will be operated in the Saint Laurent site by Stelia Aéronautique Saint Laurent Inc., a newly created subsidiary of Stelia Aerospace, which is a 100 percent Airbus subsidiary.

Stelia Aéronautique Saint-Laurent will continue the production of the A220 cockpit and aft fuselage production, as well as A330 workpackages, for a transition period of approximately three years at the Saint-Laurent facility. A220 workpackages will then be transferred to the Stelia Aerospace site in Mirabel to optimize the logistical flow to the A220 Final Assembly Line also located in Mirabel. Airbus plans to offer all current Bombardier employees working on the A220 and A330 work packages at Saint-Laurent opportunities around the A220 programme’s ramp-up, ensuring know-how retention as well as business continuity and growth in Québec.

At the end of January 2020, 107 A220 aircraft were flying with seven customers on four continents. In 2019 alone, Airbus delivered 48 A220s, with the further ramp-up to be continued.

Airbus, Air France, Safran, Suez and Total welcome advancements in favor of a sustainable aviation biofuel industry in France

Airbus has made this announcement:

As the French Government presented the country’s ambitions with regards to sustainable aviation fuel, in Toulouse, Airbus, Air France, Safran, Suez and Total acknowledge the launch of a new Call for Expression of Interest (CEI). The ambition presented set forth the conclusions of a working group which included government agencies and industrial partners, all of whom signed the Green Deal[1] in December 2017.

This CEI is a fundamental first step towards the emergence of a sustainable aviation fuel industry in France. It will allow investment projects in second generation sustainable aviation fuel production units in France to be identified, as well as supportive measures and incentives in favour of such investments.

The implementation of an economically viable and lasting industry is key for accelerating the use of sustainable aviation fuel and for reducing net CO2emissions in air transport. Guaranteeing that all players maintain a competitive edge in a competitive environment and helping to lead the world forward.

For 18 months, industrial entities have been mobilised and are working alongside the government to promote the emergence of a sustainable aviation fuel industry in France. The initiative constitutes the first innovative partnership between public and private players in the industry. It sets forth the conditions for developing lasting industries in France in the following set of recommendations:

  • Mobilise the necessary volume of raw materials for the aviation sector,
  • Ensure that sustainable resources, especially sustainable resources sourced from the circular economy, are used to produce advanced sustainable aviation fuel,
  • Ensure that the industry is economically viable for all actors in the value chain through appropriate incentive schemes,
  • Use existing airport logistics distribution networks,
  • Support and promote production diversification.

The expansion of sustainable aviation fuel constitutes a strategic lever for reducing net CO2 emissions from air transport over a full lifecycle by up to 80% before blend.

[1] Green Deals are initiatives sponsored by the Ministry of Ecological and Inclusive Transition in order to help those carrying out innovative projects which involve the environment and economics, and which contribute to an ecological transition.