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Toulouse, France - The global health crisis hit the airlines and aircraft manufacturers severely. Nearly 75 percent of passenger planes has been grounded due to travel restrictions.

As a result, airlines began to lose money. They reduced their workforces and canceled or deferred new aircraft acquisitions. But European airframer is expecting the single-aisle market to recover faster than the long-haul sector, FlightGlobal reports.

The company also says that the pattern of deliveries is the most difficult part to predict, despite its optimistic approach.
It has not offered any guidance in its newly-issued first-quarter financial statement.

On April 29, chief executive Guillaume Faury said his company had been unable to deliver 19 aircraft to Chinese operators in February. In March, The company delivered only 36 aircraft. Around 60 aircraft were left undelivered during the first quarter, mainly because of the restrictions amidst the ongoing pandemic.

Faury says the number of deliveries in 2020 is the most difficult part to forecast. He expects total deliveries in the second quarter to remain very low and the number of undelivered aircraft will continue to grow.

“We have some short-term agreements with the majority of airlines, but we need to find some more mid-term,”

the chief executive said.

"There are indications from airlines that single-aisle activity is likely to recover faster than that for twin-aisle aircraft, but the timing and pace of this recovery is unclear. Our assessment for single-aisles is not that gloomy. We think we’d be wrong to try to be right too early,"

he added.

Airbus reduced its monthly single-aisle jet production down to 40 aircraft from 60. But Faury believes the demand will increase again.

“It’s easier to ramp down than to ramp up. So what we want to preserve in the next months is the ability to go back to 60 – and not too slowly,”

Faury said.

The additional A321neo assembly line in Toulouse has been suspended due to the lack of demand.
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