(Adds background, detail)
PARIS, March 12 (Reuters) - French aerospace contractor Safran is preparing to expand planned cost-saving measures as the coronavirus crisis widens, Chief Executive Philippe Petitcolin said.
Safran said in February that to reach its annual forecasts it was targeting 300 million euros ($326 million) of cost savings and other belt-tightening measures to cope with the 737 MAX outage and the impact of the coronavirus on its China operations.
Petitcolin told the AJEF French journalists' association on Thursday that the forecasts did not take into account the possibility of significant disruption in Europe and the United States, or a widespread halt to airline operations.
"We are entering a period where it will be necessary to make a significant effort," Petitcolin said, adding it was not yet possible to predict what level of savings would be needed.
Safran has already implemented reduced working hours in certain jurisdictions to cope with a shortfall in planned engine production linked to the grounding of Boeing's 737 MAX. (Reporting by Tim Hepher; Editing by Jan Harvey)