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Europe's Airbus said on Thursday it was further cutting production of its marquee A350 jet on Thursday as it swung to a larger-than-expected second-quarter loss in the face of global pandemic.
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The planemaker also said it hoped to avoid consuming cash before M&A and customer financing in the second half of the year after a quarterly outflow of 4.4 billion euros as deliveries tumbled due to the coronavirus collapse in air travel.
Airbus posted an adjusted second-quarter operating loss of 1.226 billion euros ($1.44 billion) as revenues slid 55% to 8.317 billion. Analysts were expecting a loss of 1.027 billion on revenues of 8.552 billion, according to a company-compiled consensus.
The losses include 900 million euros of balance sheet impairment charges related to the industry's worst crisis.
Airbus said it had cut A350 production to five jets a month, after bringing the monthly rate down from 9.5 to six in April.
The move came a day after US rival Boeing said it was making further cuts in output of its 787 and 777 jets, which compete with the A350 on long-haul networks.
Airlines were already facing a glut of the industry's biggest jets before the COVID-19 crisis and those models are expected to be the slowest to recover once demand returns to normal levels, which Airbus says could take until 2023 or 2025.
Passenger operations have collapsed at an unprecedented rate as the virus spreads around the world, with Delta Air Lines Inc parking more than 600 jets, cutting corporate pay by as much as 50 per cent, and scaling back its flying by more than 70% until demand begins to recover.
Revenues fell 15.2 per cent to 10.6 billion euros, reflecting a "market environment strongly impacted" by the pandemic, "particularly in commercial aircraft", Airbus said in a statement.
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Airbus ramped up its jet production targets on Thursday, backing signs of global recovery and strengthening its hand ahead of talks with suppliers about how to share investments needed to lift aviation out of its pandemic doldrums.
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