Coronavirus Outbreak Prompts Airbus Production Line Closure


Airbus has announced that it has temporarily closed its A320 final assembly line in Tianjin, China, due to an outbreak of coronavirus in the country. The company also said that it was providing its Airbus China employees with IT equipment so they “do not need to travel to work where possible.” It is not yet clear how the closure will affect operations or when the facility will be reopened.

An estimated 28,300 people—about 28,000 of whom are in China—have been diagnosed with coronavirus with confirmed cases in 28 countries. Airlines including American, United and Delta have suspended flights to China due to the outbreak. In order to evacuate U.S. citizens stranded in Wuhan, China, the U.S. Department of State chartered two Boeing 747s this week. Both flights, which were operated by Michigan-based cargo carrier Kalitta Air, landed at Sacramento, California’s Travis Air Force Base on Tuesday before one continued on to Marine Corps Air Station Miramar in San Diego.

The aircraft were met by teams from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). According to the CDC, the passengers, who also underwent medical evaluations before leaving Wuhan, will be quarantined for up to 14 days at Travis and Miramar. Kalitta conducted a similar evacuation flight for the State Department last week.

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Kate O’Connor works as AVweb's Editor-in-Chief. She is a private pilot, certificated aircraft dispatcher, and graduate of Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University.

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