Airbus secures €15bn credit facility and slowly resumes production

Airbus cautiously reboots plants in France and Spain after closing them to allow the planemaker to adjust to new working processes
Airbus' assembly plant in Tianjin, China, is up and running again and is said to be operating efficiently.
Airbus' assembly plant in Tianjin, China, is up and running again and is said to be operating efficiently.

Airbus’s has secured a €15 billion credit injection to increase its liquidity and help it weather the Covid-19 crisis.

The announcement came a day after the European planemaker said it would begin to partially reopen its production plants in France and Spain, which were closed temporarily as part of health and safety measures.

Airbus‘ board approved the credit facility as well as a request by management to withdraw its 2020 financial guidance, dropping a proposed 2019 dividend that had a cash value of €1.4 billion suspending funding to top up staff pension schemes.

“We have withdrawn our 2020 guidance due to the volatility of the situation,” said CEO Guillaume Faury. 

“At the same time, we are committed to securing the liquidity of the company at all times through a prudent balance sheet policy. I am convinced that Airbus and the broader aerospace sector will overcome this critical period.”

Airbus now has €30 billion liquidity and says following the new credit facility it has “significant liquidity available” to be able to cope with additional cash requirements related to the coronavirus.

The manufacturer said on Sunday that its assembly activities in France and Spain would begin to reopen after they were closed for four days to allow the factories to introduce new working conditions.

The same measures are being deployed across all other sites “without full interruption”. 

In February, Airbus’ final assembly line in Tianjin, China, reopened following a temporary production stoppage related to the coronavirus outbreak and is now operating “efficiently”.

Mr Faury said: “Health and safety is our number one priority at Airbus so the work stations at our sites in France and Spain will only re-open if they meet the required standards.”

Airbus also confirmed that its 2020 AGM will go ahead in Amsterdam in April but has discouraged physical attendance and instead asked shareholders to vote by proxy.

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