Airbus to slash thousands of jobs due to pandemic
Plane maker Airbus has announced plans to slash thousands of jobs as it looks to weather the Covid-19 crisis.
The company said on Tuesday that it will cut around 15,000 jobs no later than next summer, with 1,700 positions set to go in the UK.
Airbus highlighted a near-40% drop in commercial aircraft business activity in recent months as the coronavirus pandemic takes its toll, with production rates of commercial aircraft having adapted accordingly.
"Airbus is grateful for the government support that has enabled the company to limit these necessary adaptation measures," it said. "However with air traffic not expected to recover to pre-Covid levels before 2023 and potentially as late as 2025, Airbus now needs to take additional measures to reflect the post Covid-19 industry outlook."
The company will cut 5,000 jobs in France, 5,100 in Germany and 900 in Spain. There will be a further 1,300 jobs losses at Airbus’ other worldwide sites.
Chief executive Guillaume Faury said: "Airbus is facing the gravest crisis this industry has ever experienced. The measures we have taken so far have enabled us to absorb the initial shock of this global pandemic. Now we must ensure that we can sustain our enterprise and emerge from the crisis as a healthy, global aerospace leader, adjusting to the overwhelming challenges of our customers."
Union Unite referred to the job cuts as "another act of industrial vandalism" against the UK aerospace sector and accused the government of sitting on the sidelines "while a national asset is destroyed".
It urged the government to "step up to the plate just as leaders in France and Germany have".
Unite assistant general secretary Steve Tuner said: "The only words uttered by the government in relation to UK aerospace during this entire crisis came out of the blue today in relation to the prime minister's UK-made ‘Jet Zero’ project. But while our world-class industry is shedding skills and workers at the present rate, this project will be nothing more than a PR fantasy.
"The prime minister and his team must step up to the plate. UK aerospace workers deserve the same support and investment that Mr Macron and Ms Merkel provide to their workers. Airbus workers in France and Germany have up to two years to work to fend off their redundancies and turn their businesses around while in the UK the axe falls with immediate effect."
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