Tuesday 17 March 2020 1:32 pm

Airbus 'may need government help' if crisis continues

European aircraft manufacturer Airbus has suggested that some government support may be needed if the coronavirus crisis lasts several months.

The aerospace giant could seek measures to improve liquidity such as state-guaranteed credits, Reuters reported, citing three people familiar with the matter.

Read more: Justice Committee chair calls for Attorney-General to make decision on Airbus bribery probe

The prospect of a worse-case scenario is said to have been discussed in crisis talks between Germany’s aviation ministry and aviation firms including Airbus.

“We are having regular dialogs with our home nation governments which are all non-public in nature which is why we do not comment on them,” an Airbus spokesperson said.

US rival Boeing also confirmed talks with White House officials and congressional leaders about short-term assistance for itself and the entire aviation sector.

Earlier today Airbus said it will halt all production and assembly activities at its sites in France and Spain.

The company said the measures will be in place for four days to “allow sufficient time to implement stringent health and safety conditions in terms of hygiene, cleaning and self-distancing”.

The firm said it would also allow employees to work from home where possible to help staff affected by school and childcare closures.

Airbus said it was following guidance from the World Health Organization and local health authorities to help tackle the outbreak of coronavirus.

Employees have been advised only to travel for “business-critical missions”, while anyone returning from a high-risk region must enter quarantine for 14 days.

France and Spain have both rolled out stringent lockdown measures in a bid to contain the spread of the virus.

In Spain, people are banned from leaving their homes apart from essential purchases and work.

French authorities have ordered the closure of all bars, restaurants and theatres.

However, the closures will not affect any of the manufacturer’s UK employees.

Read more: Airbus announces 2,300 job cuts in space and defence division

Airbus last month announced plans to cut 2,300 jobs in its defence division, including 357 roles in the UK. Hundreds of jobs are also set to go in France and Spain.

The company blamed a flat space market and postponed defence contracts for the cuts.