RAF A400M Atlas in flight at RIAT 2018 airshow
Aircraft

Airbus Suspends Production In France And Spain Over Coronavirus

The aerospace company is the biggest supplier of large aircraft to the Royal Air Force.

RAF A400M Atlas in flight at RIAT 2018 airshow

Aerospace giant Airbus has suspended production at its French and Spanish sites for four days due to coronavirus.

Airbus, which delivers the RAF's A400M transport aircraft, announced that the factories will be closed to enable new hygiene standards to be enforced.

The company is the biggest supplier of large aircraft to the Royal Air Force and is also a leading provider of military satellite communications and cyber-security contracts.

It said in a statement: “Following the implementation of new measures in France and Spain to contain the COVID-19 pandemic, Airbus has decided to temporarily pause production and assembly activities at its French and Spanish sites across the company for the next four days.

“This will allow sufficient time to implement stringent health and safety conditions in terms of hygiene, cleaning and self-distancing, while improving the efficiency of operations under the new working conditions.

“In those countries, the company will also continue to maximise homeworking wherever possible.”

France’s aerospace capital, Toulouse, features Airbus’ largest assembly plants as well its headquarters.

Both Spain and France have imposed lockdowns - confining citizens to their homes, except for urgent business such as buying food or going to the hospital.

Airbus said it is following the guidance from the World Health Organisation and national health authorities but did not mention any changes affecting its UK operations.

Royal Air Force Voyager landing at RAF Brize Norton 120320 CREDIT MOD
Airbus also builds the RAF Voyager (Picture: MOD).

The company also designs, tests and manufactures wings for commercial aircraft at factories in Broughton, North Wales, and Filton in Bristol.

A total of 13,500 people are employed by the company across more than 25 UK sites.

Both the RAF's A330 Voyager and Atlas A400M are made by the aviation giant.

The UK has ordered a total of 22 A400ms, with the final aircraft expected to be delivered in around 2021. 

The Voyager's wings are built and assembled at the company's largest site, Broughton, which employs 6,000 people.

Airbus also manufactures parts for the Eurofighter Typhoon which is also used by the RAF.

Cover image: An RAF A400M Atlas, one of the military aircraft delivered by Airbus (Picture: MOD).