Airbus is reducing its North American operations, looking towards the recovery of the aviation industry.
Airbus is reducing the size of its North American operation, trimming jobs, and cutting the production in response to the widespread coronavirus pandemic.
As the economic condition is being hampered severely, Airbus Americas chief executive Jeffrey Knittel said, they are planning to do some changes. The changes include putting some North American projects on hold aiming to strengthen the economic condition of the company at a time when airlines are shying from receiving new jets.
Despite being in a bad condition, Knittel expresses optimism in the industry’s recovery by addressing that Airbus has the right product for the eventual rebound in days to come.
“There is a reduction we are working through in Mobile,” said Knittel. The company assembles A320s and A220s in Mobile, its primary North American commercial aviation facility.
Initial Production Plan…
Earlier this year, before the pandemic, Airbus said it was planning to boost the production of A320 at Mobile from five to seven jets monthly.
Besides, Airbus also planned to boost A220s production to four jets monthly by mid-2020s. To accommodate the plan, Airbus had planned to hire another 270 employees and spend $40 million to support another Mobile support hangar.
Knittel did not address the state of that expansion plan but stresses that Airbus is re-optimizing its operation to reflect the most realistic way forward. Knittel says:
“Many individual projects have been put on hold, as they should be, as we try to optimize not only production levels, but, importantly, focus on cash containment.”
But later in April, Airbus said it was reducing its global A320 family aircraft production down to 40 jets from 60 jets monthly.
“Mobile will share proportionately in that reduction,” Knittel says.