Monday 27 April 2020 7:50 am

Airbus 'bleeding cash at an unprecedented speed' due to coronavirus

Planemaking giant Airbus has written to its 135,000 staff warning them to expect deeper job cuts, with the firm “bleeding cash at an unprecedented speed”. 

In a letter to employees, chief executive Guillaume Faury said that the aerospace behemoth’s survival was at stake, saying that the recent drop in production of a third was not the worst case scenario.

Read more: Lufthansa books €1.2bn first quarter loss as carrier seeks state-backed loan

Due to the unprecedented shutdown in global air travel due to emergency coronavirus measures around the world, many airlines have sought to delay plane deliveries or cancel orders with Airbus.

UK budget flyer Easyjet, for example, has postponed the delivery of a much-publicised order of 24 jets over the next three years.

Faury added that although the company had begun to put around 3,000 staff on to French government furlough schemes, “we may now need to plan for more far-reaching measures”.

“The survival of Airbus is in question if we don’t act now,” he added.

Listen to our daily City View podcast as we chart the economic fallout and business impact of the coronavirus pandemic.

The company has already reduced the production of its narrow body jets by a third to 40 a month, with further output cuts mooted.

The letter, which Airbus declined to comment on, came as the firm prepares to publish its first quarter results for the current financial year. 

Sources told Reuters that the engineering giant could launch a new restructuring plan akin to its 2007 reset in the summer.

Airbus is also reported to be in discussions with various European governments over potential state aid to protect its beleaguered business.

Read more: Coronavirus set to cost the world’s airlines up to $314bn

On Friday French-Dutch carrier Air France-KLM obtained €7bn in aid from its respective governments to help it through the crisis.

German state carrier Lufthansa is also in talks with federal authorities over a bailout, with the firm’s chief executive warning the airline was burning cash at the rate of €1m an hour.