Airbus is cutting 15,000 jobs because of the pandemic

Coronavirus

Exceptional secrecy had surrounded the politically sensitive restructuring affecting jobs in Britain, France, Germany and Spain, the company's key backers in a fierce contest with USA rival Boeing for orders and industrial clout.

"Airbus is facing the gravest crisis this industry has ever experienced", said Airbus chief executive Guillaume Faury.

Some industry sources say Airbus has all but abandoned a goal of more than doubling services revenue to $10 billion this decade and transferred some staff to other roles. French unions said they would insist Airbus restore plans to add an assembly line in France for the German-assembled A321.

He said that because it's important to preserve the talent Airbus needs for an eventually recovery, he hopes for agreements with governments that would allow the company to rotate workers over the next two years through such partial furloughs so that their skills can stay current while "the majority of their salaries will be paid by governments". 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.

"We all have friends and family working at Airbus".

Airbus presented balanced targets for job cuts including around 5,000 each in France and Germany, while separately listing 900 German cuts pre-dating the crisis.

Airbus did not rule out layoffs, but said it would first seek voluntary departures and early retirements.

Airbus is moving swiftly to counter damage caused by a 40% slump in its 55 billion euro ($61.8 billion) jet business following the pandemic, balancing the belt-tightening against aid offered by European governments.

Britain's Unite union called the measures "industrial vandalism".

"The UK Government is watching from the sidelines while a national asset is destroyed".

Some 134,000 people work for Airbus worldwide, with around a tenth of them in the UK.

Even so, the company faces tough negotiations with governments and unions to get the cuts it is seeking.

"Nobody should be under any illusion about the impact Covid is having on aerospace, a critical part of the Welsh economy", he said.

"The UK Government has already taken wide-ranging action to support companies since the start of the pandemic".

Airbus has announced today that it will be laying off around 15,000 employees.

"The alarm bells have been sounding for weeks and we need urgent steps at a United Kingdom level to prevent this crisis becoming even worse".

These figures include the Airbus subsidiaries Stelia in France and Premium AEROTEC in Germany.

We are calling upon Airbus to hold their nerve and step back from implementing their plan.

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