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Recovery From Pandemic Could Take Years, Warns Airbus CEO

Recovery From Pandemic Could Take Years, Warns Airbus CEO
Jackie Reddy

Earlier this week, aircraft manufacturer Airbus warned that it was “bleeding cash” due to the on-going coronavirus pandemic, but as the entire aviation industry struggles for survival, company CEO Guillaume Faury foresees a long road to recovery.

Industry Could Take Years To Recover From Pandemic Turmoil

According to the Guardian, Faury predicted on Wednesday that it may take “three to five years” for the industry to regain its former strength and to restore passenger confidence in the sector. Faury’s comments come just as the manufacturer furloughed thousands of staff and slashed production and a day after Airbus customer British Airways (BA) announced that it would be cutting as many as 12,000 jobs.

As news agency Reuters reports, on Wednesday, Airbus reported a 49 percent drop in its first-quarter profits.

Commenting on these results in a statement, Faury said, “We saw a solid start to the year both commercially and industrially but we are quickly seeing the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic coming through in the numbers. We are now in the midst of the gravest crisis the aerospace industry has ever known.”

Airbus Sets Out Plan For Survival

Further explaining how the manufacturer would survive the present pandemic, he added, “We’re implementing a number of measures to ensure the future of Airbus. We kicked off early by bolstering available liquidity to support financial flexibility. We’re adapting commercial aircraft production rates in line with customer demand and concentrating on cash containment and our longer-term cost structure to ensure we can return to normal operations once the situation improves.”

“At all times, the health and safety of Airbus’ employees is our top priority. Now we need to work as an industry to restore passenger confidence in air travel as we learn to coexist with this pandemic. We’re focused on the resilience of our company to ensure business continuity,” Faury stated and was quoted by Reuters as saying, “We are doing everything we can to be in the best shape for competing again later.”

During the first quarter of this year, Airbus has lost €8 ($8.7) billion. Speaking to analysts about these results, Faury said that the company’s costs were under review and that it was seeking to halt any activities that are “not critical” to its operations.

The company is set to review its production again in June and will in the meantime be reducing its capital expenditure. As for the future, Faury has stated that Airbus will be looking into the development of more environmentally-friendly craft as well as passenger well-being.

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