After announcing the re-opening of its production lines in France and Spain last week, Airbus is once again pausing the majority of its production Spain, following new government guidelines to reduce the spread of the coronavirus. The new measures to restrict movement will be in effect between Monday, March 30 and Thursday, April 9 and impact “all non-essential activities” across the country.
Airbus converted MRTT at Getafe unloading a critical supply of facemasks needed to help fight the … [+]
Spain has updated its figures for coronavirus victims by 812 deaths in the past 24 hours, bringing the total to 7,340, and reports that 85,195 people have contracted the virus. The Government is increasing restrictions on movement to help flatten the curve and reduce the strain on the national health care system.
The pause in operations at Airbus, after a re-start of activities last week, highlights the challenges for companies in determining when to re-start operations, meeting market needs while preventing calamity.
For now, Airbus will continue with essential activities in commercial aircraft, helicopters and defence and space in Spain, but limited to “minimum” critical support functions in security, IT, and engineering. The company will continue to adhere to stringent health and safety measures intended to fight the COVID-19 pandemic. The previous four day closure of Airbus’ plants in Spain and France was to implement those new protocols. Airbus also slowed activities at its wing plants in Germany and the U.K. last week, adapting to production levels at its plants in France and Spain.
“Airbus will closely work with its social partners to apply the social measures applicable under the latest restrictions,” the company stated. “Airbus employees in Spain whose jobs are not linked to production and assembly activities and can work from home will continue to support Airbus business continuity in these difficult times. As a leading company, Airbus needs to retain its ability to support the global crisis efforts, support customers, suppliers and continue to bring its essential contribution to society.”
Airbus’ plants have also been serving as an air bridge between Europe and China for the transport of critical supplies to fight the pandemic arranging deliveries to France, Germany, Spain and U.K. health systems.
An Airbus A330-200, converted to a Multi-Role Tanker Transport (MRTT), departed from Airbus’ Getafe site near Madrid last March 26 headed for the Airbus site in Tianjin, China, and returned to Spain with a cargo of more than 4 million face masks. Airbus has organized a number of flights from Europe and China, using A330-800 and A400M aircraft, to distribute thousands of donated facemasks to hospitals and public services around Europe.