With its shares in free fall and its customers struggling to survive amid the aerial chaos caused by the new coronavirus (Covid-19), financial consultancy Jeffries suggested a solution to keep Airbus active, that European governments buy 500 to 600 planes.
In his analysis released on Friday, veteran analyst Sandy Morris explained that the acquisition of the aircraft would be a more sensible way out than just lending money to the European manufacturer: “New aircraft are normally not bad assets to own”. Later they could be sold to airlines when the market resumed operations.
In Morris’s view, it would be cheaper to buy the jets than just inject money into Airbus while the pandemic continues. In 2020, the company planned to deliver 850 aircraft, but the volume is expected to drop to around 600 with the reflexes caused by the virus.
With 134,000 employees in Europe alone, Airbus can have a huge impact on the economies of countries like France, Germany and Spain, already shaken by the social restrictions recently imposed to stem the pandemic’s progress. The negotiation, which would probably involve the main nations of the European Union, could reach figures of 34 billion euros for about three years.
Assembly line halted
Since last week, Airbus has stopped production at its units in France and Spain to implement “stringent health and safety conditions in terms of hygiene, cleaning and self-distancing, while improving the efficiency of operations under the new working conditions”. The measure was expected to last four days when part of the employees would perform their duties remotely.
However, in view of the abrupt reduction in air traffic, several airlines have requested the postponement of the delivery of new aircraft not only to Airbus but also to Boeing and Embraer.