Airbus share dive on low orders; counting the cost of the A380

Lauren Eldershaw
By Lauren Eldershaw March 8, 2019 16:23

Airbus share dive on low orders; counting the cost of the A380

Airbus has reported only four aircraft orders for the month of February – four A220s for Air Vanatu – which caused its share price to dip this morning to a low of €110.76 after starting the week around €114.56 mark. The dip comes despite the fact that the manufacturer delivered 49 single-aisle and wide-body aircraft to 33 customers during the month, with a backlog of 7,390 aircraft.

Airbus has been in the news almost constantly since it cancelled the A380 programme and today, in an interview with UK newspaper The Financial Times, Tom Enders, chief executive of Airbus, commented that the company has accepted the fact that it may not pay back state loans for the A380 programme since production has now eased.

“The fact is this is a risk partnership and these loans are based on the promise of the governments who are giving the loans that if the plane is not successful, they put money at risk,” Enders told The Financial Times.

The A380 project was initially funded by repayable launch investment (RLI) loans from state shareholders that are said to run into millions (the UK government stumped up £530 million; Germany is believed to have loaned €942 million). Although much of the loan amount has been paid back, the undisclosed outstanding amount it appears will need to be written off. Airbus had agreed to pay the loans as aircraft were delivered; the cancellation of the programme effectively means a finite number of aircraft remain for delivery and a finite number of final payments of the RLI loans.

The German government says it is “analysing the consequences” of the A380 decision, likewise the French government will be assessing its own position. Airbus argues that the programme supported jobs and generated tax revenue over its lifetime.

Airbus agreed last year with the governments of France, Germany, Spain and the UK to amend the RLI loans for the A380 to comply with World Trade Organization rules.

Lauren Eldershaw
By Lauren Eldershaw March 8, 2019 16:23