Airbus is to halt production across its French and Spanish facilities for four days to give the company time to implement strict hygiene measures in response to the coronavirus outbreak.
The airframer says the decision follows introduction of new procedures in both countries intended to contain the illness.
Airbus says it will “temporarily pause” production and assembly at sites in France and Spain for the next four days, and work with social partners to bring in the changes.
“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,” it adds.
Airbus says it is working with customers and suppliers to “minimise the impact” of this decision on their operations. Its French sites include the main Toulouse assembly line which produces the A350 among other types.
The airframer is aiming to maximise home-working where feasible.
Airbus’s share price has more than halved in the past month, an indication of the extent of investors’ concerns that the air transport capacity crisis is likely to spill into the industrial sector.
Its stock price has fallen 45% since the beginning of March – a drop around the same level as that experienced during the week immediately following the US terrorist attack of 11 September 2001.
Airbus says it is following World Health Organization advice and is continuing to “closely monitor” the evolution of the coronavirus spread and is “constantly assessing” the potential effects on its personnel, suppliers, and overall business.