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Airbus suffers big loss as misery for planemakers continue

Simon Calder
·1-min read
Rare sight: British Airways’ Airbus A380 jets are currently stored (British Airways)
Rare sight: British Airways’ Airbus A380 jets are currently stored (British Airways)

Hours after Boeing revealed large financial losses due to coronavirus, its European rival, Airbus, has announced an even deeper loss.

Its third-quarter results show Airbus lost €2.7bn (£2.5bn) in the the first nine months of 2020. In the corresponding period last year it made a €2.2bn (£2bn) profit.

The firm’s revenue slumped by 35 per cent as deliveries of its aircraft slowed. It has 135 undelivered planes.

In its announcement, Airbus said: “The Covid-19 pandemic is weighing on the performance of development, production, flight testing, aircraft delivery and retrofit activities.”

Airbus warned that the recovery of global air travel is slower than anticipated, and that it “may face additional risks and uncertainties resulting from future consequences of the health and economic crisis on airlines, lessors and other actors in the air transport industry”.

The ending of production of the Airbus A380 “SuperJumbo” has proved expensive for Airbus. It recorded a further €26m (£24m) impairment on programme costs for the plane after the main customer, Emirates, decided to make no further orders.

Emirates yesterday despatched the first of its retired A380s from Dubai to Lourdes in southern France.

British Airways has not operated the jet since the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic, and other carriers say they are temporarily or permanently to stop flying the A380.

Airbus also took a €221m (£202m) hit from a Saudi military contract it could not complete due to Germany’s suspension of defence export licences to Saudi Arabia.

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