Airbus has spent millions preparing for a possible no-deal Brexit

Airbus A350
Airbus A350

Airbus has spent millions preparing for a no-deal Brexit scenario in which the UK leaves the European Union without a deal.

Senior vice president Katherine Bennett said in an interview with BBC host Andrew Marr: “There is no such thing as a managed ‘no deal’, it’s absolutely catastrophic for us,”

She added, “Some difficult decisions will have to made if there’s no-deal (…) we will have to look at future investments.”

Airbus has already spent “tens of millions of euros” preparing for a potential no-deal Brexit outcome. The money has been spent on things such as building vast stockpiles of parts at Airbus’ UK wing factories.

Airbus employs 14,000 people in the UK across 25 sites.

“There will be decisions coming down the line in the next few years where my company will have to look seriously at investments,” Bennett said.

Earlier this week the outgoing CEO of Airbus, Tom Enders, said in an interview on CNBC that while relocating out of the UK didn’t make current economic sense, Brexit could have an impact on future operations.

Enders said in the interview: “The questions is as we launch new programs down the road, would we find that the UK is still the right place?”

Earlier this year, Enders said the way the government has handled Brexit has been a disgrace. “It is a disgrace that, more than two years after the result of the 2016 referendum, businesses are still unable to plan properly for the future,” Enders said.

Adding, “We, along with many of our peers, have repeatedly called for clarity, but we still have no idea what is really going on here.”

Airbus stopping production of its A380 aircraft

Last week the aerospace company announced that it would be stopping production of its superjumbo A380 aircraft after its main customer, Emirates, cancelled an order for 39 of the aircraft, replacing it with 40 A330-900’s and 30 A350-900’s.

The decision was described by Airbus as “painful” to make, but ultimately had to be made as the aircraft was unable to make money in the current aviation market. 

Enders said on Feb 14, “If you have a product that nobody wants anymore, or you can sell only below production cost, you have to stop it.”