Aerospace company Airbus has closed its final assembly line plant in Tianjin, China, as the coronavirus continues to spread.
Airbus has taken the decision after observing the development of the virus infection in the country and travel advice given by the World Health Organisation (WHO).
Domestic and worldwide travel restrictions have posed logistical challenges to the company.
Airbus uses the Tianjin-based site for its Airbus A320 final assembly line, A330 completion and delivery centre, and a logistics facility.
The plant is also the company’s first operation outside of Europe and was undertaken as a joint venture between Airbus and a consortium formed by the Tianjin Free Trade Zone and China Aviation Industry Corporation.
The manufacturer has also complied with the Chinese Government’s requests to allow staff to work from home.
An Airbus statement said: “Airbus is closely constantly evaluating the situation and monitoring any potential knock-on effects to production and deliveries and will try to mitigate via alternative plans where necessary.
“The company is regularly updating staff on the situation and on necessary precautions to take. Airbus will provide updates as the situation evolves.”
Meanwhile, Boeing Commercial Airplanes marketing vice-president Randy Tinseth said the virus outbreak ‘will affect airline profitability, passenger air traffic – and the economy as a whole’.
Earlier this month, Delta, American Airlines and United Airlines have temporarily suspended all flights from the US to China due to the virus outbreak.
The coronavirus, which affects the respiratory tract and causes illnesses such as pneumonia or bronchitis, had originated from Wuhan in Hubei province, China.
Until yesterday, a total of 28,018 cases have been confirmed while the death toll has risen to 563 people in the country.