Airbus is in ‘gravest crisis,’ but coronavirus won’t kill operations in Mobile

Airbus CEO Guillaume Faury is calling the coronavirus pandemic the “gravest crisis” for the aerospace industry, forewarning the European plane maker’s plans to “right-size” its entire business operations.

Thousands of employees in France and the U.K. have been placed on temporary furlough as the global airline industry has grounded to a halt. Production is slashed, airplane deliveries are delayed, and cost-cutting is underway after revenues plummeted and cash reserves dwindled. The first cut to Mobile’s Airbus facility came on Friday, with the announcement that 14 subcontractors within the engineering center were losing their jobs in the coming weeks.

But do the dire warnings add up to a collapse of the industry’s future in Mobile, home to Airbus’s only North American manufacturing plant?

An Airbus spokeswoman, in a blunt statement Thursday, denounced any suggestion that the global leader of aircraft deliveries could leave Mobile.

“We have no intention of closing Mobile – it has been and remains a strategic part of Airbus’ global production network,” said Airbus spokeswoman Kristi Tucker.

Alabama Commerce Secretary Greg Canfield added, “We are committed to continue building a world-class aerospace cluster in Alabama. There are very few large aircraft plants in the world, and we are fortunate to have one in Mobile.”

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