Aerospace and defence company Airbus has trimmed production of wide-body A350 aircraft as it reported a loss in the first half of 2020 in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic.

The firm plans to further reduce the A350 production to five jets a month, which follows a reduction in April from 9.5 to six.

The pandemic has impacted the demand for wide-body long-haul jets.

Airbus expects the demand for wide-body jets would be the slowest even after air travel returns to normal levels and may take time until 2023, reported Reuters.

With around 50% fewer deliveries year-on-year, the consolidated revenues decreased to €18.9bn in the first half of 2020, compared to €30.9bn in H1 of 2019.

The consolidated net loss was €1.9bn in the first half of this year, compared with a net income of € 1.1bn in the first half of 2019.

Airbus chief executive officer Guillaume Faury said: “The impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on our financials is now very visible in the second quarter, with H1 commercial aircraft deliveries halving compared to a year ago.

“We have calibrated the business to face the new market environment on an industrial basis and the supply chain is now working in line with the new plan. It is our ambition to not consume cash before M&A and customer financing in H2 2020.”

The company added that the production of the A220 is expected to progressively return to pre-Covid levels at the Final Assembly Line (FAL) in Mirabel, Canada, while the new FAL in Mobile, US, opened as planned in May.

The announcement comes just a day after rival aircraft maker Boeing revealed plans to stop production of 747 aircraft as it continues to adjust operations due to Covid-19.

Earlier this week, Airbus entered agreements with the governments of France and Spain to amend the A350 Repayable Launch Investment (RLI) contracts after 16 years of hearing at the World Trade Organisation (WTO) and eliminates any justification for US tariffs.

Hong Kong carrier Cathay Pacific also entered an agreement with Airbus to defer the deliveries of A350s and A321neo aircraft last week.