Corona virus: Airbus withdraws forecast and cuts dividend

Corona virus: Airbus withdraws forecast and cuts dividend



The consequences of the corona virus pandemic are hitting the aviation industry hard: The aviation and defense company Airbus is canceling its forecast for the current year and withdrawing the dividend proposal for 2019. Given the confusing situation, Airbus has withdrawn its outlook for the current year, said Airbus CEO Guillaume Faury, according to a message.

It is now important for the company to secure liquidity. This is done through three measures:

  • Airbus has concluded a new line of credit worth EUR 15 billion. As a result, the group now has a total of 30 billion euros.

  • The retained dividend would bring about 1.4 billion euros.

  • In addition, the voluntary increase in the pension fund will be suspended.

Airbus wants to survive the crisis without state aid if possible

The entire aviation industry is currently suffering from the slump in passenger numbers in the face of the Covid 19 pandemic and global travel restrictions. The international industry association IATA estimates that funding for three out of four airlines will last less than three months. Industry needs a total of 150 to 200 billion euros in state aid. The aircraft manufacturer Boeing had already asked the US government last Monday for short-term state aid for itself and the entire industry.

Unlike the US rival, the European aircraft manufacturer Airbus appears to be trying to survive the crisis initially without financial aid. At a crisis meeting with the federal government’s aviation coordinator, Airbus signaled last Monday that the Franco-German company would only need help from the state in a “worst-case scenario,” said three people familiar with the advice from the Reuters news agency. Airbus has 16 billion euros on the brink and needs around 5.5 billion a month, said one of the participants. The new loans now add EUR 15 billion to this.

“We are not seeking direct government help for Airbus,” Faury said. Support for suppliers who got into difficulties, however, makes sense. “It’s a very complicated industry,” said Faury. An aircraft has up to 500,000 individual parts.

Production starts again partially

Meanwhile, Airbus plans to partially restart production in France and Spain from Monday. Airbus has implemented new safety and hygiene measures, the company said.

Last week, the corporation suspended production in the two countries for four days due to the coronavirus pandemic. The Airbus locations in other countries, especially in Germany, Great Britain, Canada, the USA and China, were not affected.

In addition, Airbus has donated thousands of face masks to hospitals and authorities across Europe, the message said. An A330-800 test plane brought around two million face masks to Europe from China over the weekend, most of which are to be donated to France and Spain. Further flights are planned.

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