Airbus warned today that China’s decision to end its strict zero-Covid strategy and reopen its borders could pose difficulties for the company heading into 2023.
“In the short-term, China will create additional difficulties and complexities that we will have to deal with,” chief executive Guillaume Faury told journalists today.
The warning comes as the European plane manufacturer announced that it only sold 661 planes in the last 12 months, after it abandoned its target of 700 annual deliveries for 2022 last month due to ongoing global supply chain issues.
But the impact of Beijing’s decision on the company will eventually ease, Faury said.
He said China’s reopening “means that it will be possible for us to travel again to China to meet customers, suppliers and partners.”
“It will also mean the reopening of aviation to a much larger extent,” he added.
Nevertheless Faury remained very prudent, as ongoing and new issues could cause significant headaches for Airbus.
“There will be potential new reasons for disruption,” he explained. “So as the old problems get better, we might be hit by the consequences of the energy crisis in Europe.”
Separately, rival Boeing announced today that it sold 480 planes over the past 12 months.
The US plane-maker beat predictions, however, as analysts from defence and aerospace market forecasting company Forecast International expected Boeing to deliver 407 planes over 2022.