Airbus posts net loss of $2.2 billion in H1

PARIS (AFP) - Airbus announced Thursday net losses of 1.9 billion euros ($2.2 billion) in the first six months after aircraft delivery halved as a result of the coronavirus crisis.

The leading European company delivered 196 planes over the first six months of 2020 as airlines around the globe slashed schedules and pushed back orders.

''The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on our financials is now very visible in the second quarter, with H1 commercial aircraft deliveries halving compared to a year ago,'' said Airbus chief Guillaume Faury in a statement.

Airbus reported revenue fell 39 percent to 18.9 billion euros over the first half -- with hefty drop of 55 percent over the second quarter.

That left operational losses of 1.6 billion euros including a 332-million-euro charge for the closure next year of the wide-body A380 program. Operational losses from COVID-19 were booked at 900 million euros.

With air traffic not expected to return to pre-pandemic levels before 2023-2025, Airbus said it has cut production by 40 percent.

The firm is planning to manufacture 40 Airbus A320s monthly -- compared to 60 last year -- as well as four A220s and two A330s. A350 production will see a ''small adjustment'' to five-six aircraft a month, the statement said.

Airbus turned out nine-ten long haul A350s a month before the health crisis.

The company burned through 12.4 billion euros in cash during the first six months of the year but said measures that had been taken were beginning to become effective. Airbus said it would not make any forecasts for next year due to ''limited visibility'' on the resumption of normal deliveries.