Airbus is weighing up a significant cut in the production of its best-selling A320 family to avoid a pile up of undelivered jets amid the current coronavirus crisis.
Reuters quoted to people familiar with the matter, who said Airbus could slash its current production rate of 60 aircraft a month by as much as half for either one or two quarters.
Airbus has not confirmed an exact number but is expected to decide prior to a shareholder meeting due to take place in mid-April, according to Reuters.
Airbus declined to comment but issued a statement saying it is closely monitoring the evolving situation and is “in constant dialogue with its customers, suppliers and institutional partners”.
It added: “Airbus is in the process of assessing the implications of the pandemic on its operations and the potential mitigation measures that could be implemented.”
The A320 family of aircraft is the most popular in the world and Airbus had previously been preparing to ramp up production up to 67 aircraft a month by 2023. The European manufacturer had been in the process of converting its A380 production line for A320 production.
Both Airbus and Boeing are also considering slashing production of their wide-body jets, according to the Reuters report.
Airline capacity has been decimated in recent weeks by the Covid-19 crisis in the worst downturn in aviation history.
Entire fleets have been grounded and many airlines have stopped taking new aircraft deliveries due to a liquidity crisis and sweeping international travel restrictions.
Airbus’ facilities in China and Europe have been impacted by the coronavirus.
Earlier this year it temporarily closed its A320 assembly plant in Tianjin but recently reopened the factory, which is one again operating at normal levels.
Its factories in France and Spain have both experienced temporary pauses in production.