Airbus said it is monitoring the knock-on effects to A320 production and deliveries after it was forced to close its final assembly plant in Tianjin, China, because of the coronavirus crisis.
Airlines are among businesses hit hardest by the coronavirus outbreak, which has so far killed more than 500 people and caused governments to introduce international travel bans.
Now, amid health and safety concerns and a shortage of incoming materials caused by a virus-hit Chinese supply chain, the world’s largest aerospace manufacturer has shut an assembly line which makes its best-selling jet.
Tianjin is one of four A320 assembly lines in the world and produces six aircraft per month, almost 10% of the global production of the jet.
Airbus confirmed in a statement that its plant in China was closed but did not give an indication of when it would reopen.
It said: "With regards to the business impact, China domestic and worldwide travel restrictions are posing some logistical challenges. The Tianjin Final Assembly Line facility is currently closed.
“Airbus is constantly evaluating the situation and monitoring any potential knock-on effects to production and deliveries and will try to mitigate via alternative plans where necessary.”
A number of airlines in MENA and Asia rely on the A320, with Indian carrier IndiGo recently placing a huge order for 300 of the planes.
Rival planemaker Boeing’s Chinese plant, near Shanghai, also remains shut due to the ongoing virus crisis.