Friday, 10 April 2020

Plans for the new A321neo production line in France put on hold by Airbus.

The European aerospace giant Airbus is about to halt its plans for a new French assembly line for its A321neo model just 10 weeks after the expansion programme was launched, news agency Reuters is reporting today.

It would not be a wholly unexpected move by the aircraft maker as it seeks to cut costs, investments and vast overheads as the coronavirus COVID-19 crisis deepens for airlines around the world. Whish presents a massive drop in demand for new aircraft.

Airbus first confirmed its plans for the new production line back in January,  back then the firm was struggling to keep up with the demand for new jets.  At the time,  it said it would move the jobs away from the Airbus A380 production line to the new assembly line.  

"Our plans for an A321 line in Toulouse are paused, on hold," an Airbus spokesperson told Reuters and confirmed. "When we see rates going up again, we will reconnect to the plans."

The news has not been welcomed by French unions, CGT union said, "-we think the arrival of a new A321 line in the Lagardere factory must be maintained,"

"With a great many airlines looking to either cancel or defer orders for new aircraft right now, it makes sense for Airbus to put those plans on hold - at least until the pandemic is over and the shoots of recovery are showing through again." Our aviation correspondent Jason Shaw said on Saturday. 

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