Aerospace giant Airbus is set to cut 1,700 jobs in the UK as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, the company has announced.
Europe’s flagship aircraft maker employs around 13,500 people in the UK. Its site in Broughton in north Wales, where wings are manufactured, and another factory at Filton in Bristol are thought to be most at risk.
Airbus is also set to axe 15,000 jobs across its global operations, including in Germany, France and Spain. The cuts planned at individual sites will be announced in the coming days.
It said commercial aircraft business activity has dropped by almost 40 per cent in recent months, while the chief executive said it is facing the ‘gravest crisis this industry has ever experienced’.
In April the company said that it was ‘bleeding cash at an unprecedented speed’ as it struggled to cope as Covid-19 hit the travel industry hard.
Chief executive Guillaume Faury said: ‘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.
‘To confront that reality, we must now adopt more far-reaching measures. Our management team and our board of directors are fully committed to limiting the social impact of this adaptation.
‘We thank our governmental partners as they help us preserve our expertise and know-how as much as possible and have played an important role in limiting the social impact of this crisis in our industry. The Airbus teams and their skills and competences will enable us to pursue our ambition to pioneer a sustainable future for aerospace.’
In a statement the company said: ‘Airbus has announced plans to adapt its global workforce and resize its commercial aircraft activity in response to the Covid-19 crisis.
‘This adaptation is expected to result in a reduction of around 15,000 positions no later than summer 2021.
‘The information and consultation process with social partners has begun with a view to reaching agreements for implementation starting in autumn 2020.’
Airbus is also planning to cut 5,000 jobs in France, 5,100 in Germany, 900 in Spain and 1,300 positions at its other worldwide sites.
It added that compulsory redundancies cannot be ruled out at this stage and that it will work with its social partners to limit the impact of its plans by relying on all available social measures, including voluntary departures, early retirement, and long term partial unemployment schemes where appropriate.
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