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Airbus chief executive Guillaume Faury has warned employees of new production cuts at the European aircraft maker due to the crisis caused by the coronavirus, saying that its finances were diminishing at an unprecedented rate, according to a letter obtained by AFP Monday.

The had said on April 8 that it had cut production of its planes by around a third, as global airlines scale back their plans in an unprecedented crisis for the industry.

Faury said in a letter to staff that this production rate would remain valid for between two or three months but then it would be time to "finalise our evaluation and draw the consequences".

"In just a few weeks, we lost around a third of our production. And to be honest, we must be ready for it to get even worse," added Faury.

"Our finances have been diminishing at an unprecedented rate, which could threaten the existence of our company," he said, explaining this is why it had acted quickly to obtain some 15 billion euros ($16.2 billion) in additional credit lines.

The chief executive of Airbus's main rival Boeing, David Calhoun, warned Monday that resuming dividend payments could take three to five years as the company girds for a slow air travel recovery in the wake of the coronavirus .