PARIS (REUTERS) – Planemaker Airbus announced new steps on Monday (March 23) to bolster its financial position as a coronavirus pandemic cripples the travel industry, including the signing of a credit facility for 15 billion euros (S$23.45 billion).
The European planemaker added it was withdrawing its 2020 financial guidance, dropping a proposed 2019 dividend that had a cash value of 1.4 billion euros and suspending funding to top up staff pension schemes.
“We have withdrawn our 2020 guidance due to the volatility of the situation,” chief executive Guillaume Faury said in a statement.
“At the same time, we are committed to securing the liquidity of the company at all times through a prudent balance sheet policy. I am convinced that Airbus and the broader aerospace sector will overcome this critical period.”
Airbus said it had enough liquidity to cope with any further cash requirements related to the coronavirus, adding that it had around 30 billion euros worth of available liquidity.
Its US rival Boeing is also under similar pressures, and earlier this month Boeing called for a US$60 billion lifeline for the US aerospace manufacturing industry.
Over the weekend, Airbus said it would resume only partial aircraft production when its French and Spanish factories reopen on Monday after a four-day shutdown to tackle health concerns over the coronavirus.