Airbus Suspends A320 Assembly in China Due to Coronavirus

 - February 5, 2020, 10:23 AM
Airbus A320s undergo final assembly at the company's plant in Tianjin, China. (Photo: Airbus)

Airbus confirmed on Wednesday that its A320 final assembly line in Tianjin, China, closed as part of measures introduced to resolve the coronavirus outbreak. “[Airbus China is] observing Chinese government requirements for staff to work from home and is facilitating with IT equipment so employees from all locations including Tianjin do not need to travel to work where possible,” the company said in a statement.

The Europe-based airframer’s statement did not specify the extent of disruption the closure of Chinese operations is causing its supply chain. It did acknowledge that travel restrictions are posing “logistical challenges.” The Tianjin factory makes six A320 aircraft each month, accounting for almost 10 percent of global production for the single-aisle family.

Meanwhile, both Boeing and engine and aircraft systems group Safran also confirmed disruption to their activities in China.

Work at Boeing’s Zhoushan completion and delivery center had already stopped due to the ongoing suspension of 737 Max airliner production. The company, which has three subsidiaries, four joint ventures, and more than 35 direct suppliers in China, said that in response to government guidance it is “working through plans to delay office openings, provide masks, and offering informational briefings and facilitate work from home options when available.”

Safran said that it has extended the Chinese New Year break at its Chinese facilities until February 10. The France-based group maintains extensive manufacturing and maintenance operations in the country, employing about 2,500 people at 20 different entities.