European planemaker Airbus SE believes it may lose more than $5 billion of aircraft orders under struggling airline AirAsia X Bhd.’s restructuring plans, according to court documents filed in Malaysia last week.
Airbus Asia Pacific President Anand Stanley said in the court filing there’s a “strong possibility that Airbus will suffer substantial losses and prejudice” under the proposed restructuring plan for the Malaysian long-haul budget carrier. Those losses could extend to having to adjust production rates on the A330neo jetliner program, he said.
Airbus has already built or substantially built seven A330neos for AirAsia X and there are a further 71 of the wide-bodies on order, according to the filing. AirAsia X has also failed to pay $301.2 million in pre-delivery payments for its A330neo orders plus $2.5 million on A321XLR narrow-body jets.
An Airbus spokesman on Tuesday declined to comment on the details of the case and said discussions with AirAsia X are ongoing.
AirAsia X is proposing a $15 billion restructuring of its debt and stock to prevent it from going under. The plan would see purchase commitments including Airbus orders eliminated, a worry for the European planemaker that’s struggled to pick up orders for the A330, currently producing only two aircraft a month.
Airbus is likely to announce a further cut to its A330neo production rate next year, possibly at the full-year earnings in February, according to Agency Partners analyst Sash Tusa. AirAsia X is by far the biggest customer for the program.
Other creditors have said they’re unhappy with the terms of the proposed restructuring. Lessor BOC Aviation Ltd argues the deal favors Airbus. It said in a Dec. 18 court submission that the debt owed to the European planemaker includes planes which have not yet been built, and therefore “cannot be considered as an accurate assessment of the accrued and crystallized debts”.