Airbus — a European manufacturing giant — says they saw $515 million (€481 million) in losses for first quarter 2020, and this is only the beginning of the aviation industry's unprecedented woes, reports Defense News.
Airbus reports staggering loss, aviation industry bracing
The $515 million in losses Airbus reported for first quarter 2020 put thousands of workers on furlough and forced the manufacturing giant to seek billions in loans to survive the COVID-19 crisis. On Wednesday, its CEO said this trend is still at an "early stage."
Sadly, even when virus-related travel restrictions lift, Chief Executive Guillaume Faury affirmed the long wait in store for the industry before they can persuade customers to step onto a plane again. How long, he didn't say, reports Defense News.
"We are in the gravest crisis the aerospace industry has ever known," said Faury. "Now we need to work as an industry to restore passenger confidence in air travel as we learn to coexist with this pandemic."
US passengers worried about flying amid COVID-19
Screens awash with images of packed planes and maskless, elbow-rubbing passengers on U.S. flights — arguably in spite of virus protection measures — have shaken the confidence of travelers and airline unions in airline safety. Meanwhile, international travel restrictions have left thousands of planes grounded globally.
Faury added that airplanes are "probably the best place to be" during a virus outbreak, arguing that air filtration systems put in place after the virus outbreak and other threats, but also cited Airbus' ongoing work with aviation authorities to try to quell public worries.
Boeing takes losses, Airbus delays 60 plane deliveries
Airbus and Boeing shares have plummeted roughly 60% this year as customer airlines implode or seek government bailouts upward of billions of dollars.
It was also because of virus-related problems that Airbus wasn't able to deliver 60 planned planes in the quarter, and the manufacturer added that its second quarter doesn't look much brighter. Customers are asking for delays, in a pattern that Faury called "the biggest issue we are managing at the moment."
As the few planes not grounded are continually lacking in passengers due to COVID-19, plane manufacturers around the world fight to stay above the water in the emerging, post-coronavirus economy.