By Bernd Debusmann Jr
A weekend flight transported 2 million masks from China to Europe, where they will be donated to French and Spanish authorities
European multinational aerospace corporation Airbus is expected to partially resume production and assembly work at its facilities in France and Spain and is using its test aircraft to ferry medical supplies around the globe amid the coronavirus pandemic, the company has announced.
On Monday, March 23, work is likely to resume at its facilities following healthy and safety checks by French and Spanish authorities that led to a four-day suspension of production and assembly activities.
In a statement, Airbus said that it now focused on supporting those in health, emergency and public services that rely on its aircraft, helicopters, satellites and services to accomplish their missions.
Additionally, the company has begun using its test aircraft to obtain large quantities of medical supplies from suppliers in China.
A flight over the weekend, for example, used a test A330-800 aircraft to transport approximately 2 million masks from China to Europe, the bulk of which will be donated to Spanish and French authorities.
More flights are planned for the coming days.
“Health and safety is our number one priority at Airbus so the work stations at our sites in France and Spain will only re-open if they meet the required standards,” said Airbus CEO Guillaume Faury. “At the same time we are doing all we can to support those on the frontline to fight the coronavirus and limit its spread.”
In February, the Airbus final assembly line in Tianjin, China re-opened after a temporary stoppage caused by the coronavirus outbreak.