Airbus has announced measures to support its financial position in light of the economic challenges presented by coronavirus.

The measures comprise a new €15 billion ($16.1 billion) credit facility, withdrawal of its 2019 dividend proposal, and suspension of top-up pension funding, says Airbus in a 23 March statement.

The withdrawal of the 2019 dividend proposal has a cash value of €1.4 billion. In addition, the airframer is withdrawing its 2020 guidance, and will maintain what it calls a “strong focus on support to customers and delivery.”

“Our first priority is protecting people while supporting efforts globally to curb the spread of the coronavirus,” says chief executive Guillaume Faury.

“We are also safeguarding our business to protect the future of Airbus and to ensure we can return to efficient operations once the situation recovers. We have withdrawn our 2020 guidance due to the volatility of the situation. At the same time, we are committed to securing the liquidity of the company at all times through a prudent balance sheet policy. I am convinced that Airbus and the broader aerospace sector will overcome this critical period.”

The new €15 billion credit facility adds to an existing €3 billion revolving credit facility. The company has identified further measures that may be taken as the pandemic runs its course.

“With these decisions, the company has significant liquidity available to cope with additional cash requirements related to the coronavirus,” says Airbus.

“Liquidity resources previously standing at approximately €20 billion, comprising around €12 billion in financial assets at hand and around €8 billion in undrawn credit lines, were further bolstered by converting an existing €5 billion credit line into a new facility amounting to €15 billion. Available liquidity now amounts to approximately €30 billion.”

Airbus added that it welcomes government efforts to stabilise the industry, noting that “safe and efficient air travel is a key backbone of global economic development and cultural exchange.”