Airbus first-quarter profit plunges after lockdowns

Airbus profits are down by almost a half.

New numbers Wednesday (April 29) saw a tumble to just over 300 million dollars in the first quarter.

The aerospace giant has seen production interrupted by lockdowns.

Meanwhile its airline customers are suffering as planes are grounded.

That has many questioning future jet orders, or even their very survival.

It all left Airbus bleeding cash.

About 8 billion euros disappeared in the first quarter.

That wasn’t helped by a 3.6 billion euro fine to settle corruption investigations in the UK, France and U.S.

The company only delivered a handful of planes over the period, and this week expanded furlough programs.

3,200 workers in Britain were sent home.

Thousands more are already on government-backed partial unemployment schemes in France.

Now Airbus won’t say whether there will be forced redundancies.

But last week it warned staff to prepare for ‘far-reaching measures’.

On Wednesday it said it did not see an immediate need for further government support.

But it’s going to review production rates - already down by a third or more - in June.

The company is calling for an industry-wide campaign to restore faith in flying once the virus crisis passes.