Airbus is partially resuming production in France, Spain

Airbus A330neo assembly in Toulouse, France. Photo: © Airbus

European aircraft manufacturer Airbus is partially resuming its production in France and Spain, following a suspension of several days.

The company says that after health and safety checks, it now expects assembly work to partially resume.

On Tuesday, Airbus had announced a four-day pause of production and assembly at its sites in the two western European countries. This came after the governments implemented stricter rules and guidelines to help prevent the spread of Coronavirus.

A temporary production stop was necessary to apply these regulations and ensure the health and safety at its production sites, the manufacturer says. New measures ‘in terms of hygiene, cleaning and self-distancing’ had to be implemented before work stations would re-open. According to Airbus, these measures will also be deployed across its locations in other countries, but without a full interruption of production.

It was not immediately clear how much aircraft production rates would be affected by these changes. Airbus only states that it is ‘maintaining delivery capability for its products and services to its customers’, without giving clear numbers on the effect of this Coronavirus crisis. A number of airlines have said that they are reaching out to both Airbus and Boeing regarding a potential deferral of upcoming aircraft deliveries.

The manufacturer has so-called final assembly lines (FAL) for commercial aircraft in France, Germany, the United States, Canada and China.

Its China assembly line in Tianjin was temporarily closed in early February due to the virus spread and resulting government regulations, but has since reopened and is ‘operating efficiently’, the company says.

Airbus has also confirmed that it is using test aircraft, in this case an A330-800neo, to transport face masks from China to Europe.

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