Leonardo continues production despite COVID-19 countermeasures


Leonardo AW169 Cornwall Air Ambulance

Leonardo is continuing to manufacture helicopters in Italy despite  severe restrictions imposed throughout the country  to prevent the spread of the Coronavirus, known as COVID-19, a Leonardo spokesperson has told Helicopter Investor.

The company was quick to respond to the pandemic, enforcing an international travel ban  last month – with a few exceptions. Those who can work from home are and personnel required  on site are working flexible shifts.

A Leonardo spokesperson told Helicopter Investor: “In line with guidelines set out by the Italian authorities, Leonardo has adopted a series of measures aimed at reducing the risk of contagion. The company has suspended all international business travel and national travel within Italy.”

“In addition, from Monday March 9th, each area of business has activated a working from home plan for all Italian sites. Where working from home is not possible due to the nature of the job, to maintain business continuity employees are coming to sites on a flexible basis and all precautionary measures are being taken to provide a safe working environment.”

Leonardo said that some of its employees were permitted to travel “in order to maintain business continuity or for urgent and specific requirements” but such exceptions complied with the rules set out by the Ministry of the Interior.

“As an international organisation, Leonardo is constantly monitoring the situation both in Italy and abroad and maintains close contact with national and international authorities in order to ensure employee safety,” added the spokesperson.

Leonardo’s locations

Leonardo employs more than 29,000 people in Italy across 70 facilities – 30 of which are manufacturing plants. The company’s headquarters for its helicopter division is based in Lombardy which has become a coronavirus hotspot with about 6,000 confirmed cases. Below you can see a map of Leonardo’s locations across the country.

The manufacturer is also taking stringent safety measures at its bases overseas. Leonardo has told its 7,000 UK workers employed at nine facilities to self-isolate if they have returned from high-risk countries, in line with National Health Service advice. The company’s UK workforce is its second largest in Europe after Italy.

A “small number” of Leonardo’s UK staff had been asked to self-isolate, but none has been diagnosed with the virus, the spokesman told Helicopter Investor.

Much of Italy’s workforce is on lockdown and has recently seen its death toll jump from 366 to 463 on Monday this week – making it the most affected country after China. The number of people infected increased from 9,172, to 12,462 according to government figures.

Meanwhile, the World Health Organization has declared COVID-19 a pandemic. This is declared when a new disease, for which people do not have immunity, spreads around the world.