Airbus to cut 15,000 jobs as aviation faces 'gravest crisis'

Andrew Cummings
July 1, 2020

"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".

Plans to cut 1,700 UK Airbus jobs have been described as "utterly devastating" by a Welsh minister.

Airbus's announcement came as union sources told AFP that French flag carrier Air France would cut 7,500 jobs by the end of 2022 as part of a cost-cutting drive that has gained new urgency in the wake of the pandemic.

"It's going to be a mighty battle to save jobs", said Francoise Vallin of the CFE-CGC union.

It comes after engine maker Rolls-Royce said last month it was to cut 9,000 jobs from its global workforce.

"This is yet another act of industrial vandalism and a awful insult to our incredible United Kingdom workforce who deserve so much better from our government", Unite assistant general secretary Steve Turner said.

Airbus did not rule out layoffs, but said it would first seek voluntary departures and early retirements. Therefore, job reductions are unavoidable for the company.

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

Unions pledged to resist cuts across the board.

Aside from the prospective 15,000 job cuts, many Airbus employees are now working part-time, with their respective governments paying them unemployment benefit for the hours not worked, through September and in some cases beyond.

Now, the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Airbus Guillaume Faury has provided an indication as to when the European manufacturer expects some sense of normality and a return to 2019-levels of business. "Today the management will announce their intentions, then discussions will continue", union representative Michel Pierre said.

Airbus said it wanted a deal on the job cuts by 2021.

The company had already in April said it was cutting production of its planes by around a third. "To confront that reality, we must now adopt more far-reaching measures".

"Being the largest commercial aircraft company in the UK, Airbus is central to our aerospace industry and has a close relationship with its highly-integrated UK supply chain".

Boeing is cutting over 12,000 U.S. jobs, including 6,770 involuntary layoffs, after the pandemic compounded woes caused by the 15-month-old grounding of its 737 MAX. "It is highly likely that the recovery will be gradual", said the ministry.

Some industry sources, however, 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.

Other reports by iNewsToday