Airbus books EUR1.1B loss in 2020 in wake of COVID-19

PARIS (AFP) – European aircraft giant Airbus said yesterday it was able to limit its losses last year, even as the airline sector collapsed in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.

Airbus said in a statement that it booked a net loss of EUR1.1 billion (USD1.3 billion) in 2020.

That was a slight improvement over the previous year’s bottom-line loss of EUR1.4 billion, when Airbus had been hit with a huge fine of EUR3.6 billion in a corruption scandal.

“The 2020 results demonstrate the resilience of Airbus in the most challenging crisis to hit the aerospace industry,” said chief executive Guillaume Faury.

Group revenues plunged to EUR49.9 billion from EUR70.5 billion a year earlier, “driven by the difficult market environment impacting the commercial aircraft business with 34 per cent fewer deliveries year-on-year,” Airbus said.

A total of 566 commercial aircraft were delivered, comprising 38 A220s, 446 A320s, 19 A330s, 59 A350s and four A380s, compared with 863 aircraft in 2019.

Airbus said it saw no immediate improvement for the industry’s prospects for now.

“Many uncertainties remain for our industry in 2021 as the pandemic continues to impact lives, economies and societies,” Faury said.

The Airbus Group logo is pictured in Suresnes, outside Paris. PHOTO: AP