Exclusive: Airbus draws up contingency plan to slow or halt output
By Tim Hepher
PARIS (Reuters) – Airbus <AIR.PA> has drawn up contingency plans to slow or stop production if France is placed under a drastic lockdown due to coronavirus, two people familiar with the matter said.
The plans, which range from a progressive slowdown to a full shutdown in production, anticipate a ripple effect from the lockdown across the planemaker’s main industrial network in four countries, France, Germany, Britain and Spain, they said.
A complete halt in production is not currently seen as the most likely development, but that will depend on the nature of fresh health measures expected to be announced later on Monday.
“As we speak, our production facilities are open with strict health and safety protocols following national regulations. We are permanently following the situation and developments in our home production countries,” an Airbus spokesman said.
He added: “We are looking at all kinds of scenarios to maintain business continuity.”
Contingency planning accelerated on Monday as French President Emmanuel Macron prepared to make a televised address to the nation at 1900 GMT, amid speculation that France may consider new measures to deal with the coronavirus outbreak.
(Reporting by Tim Hepher; Editing by Jan Harvey)