News: Airbus to cut 15,000 jobs as aviation demand slumps

Airbus has announced plans to downsize its global workforce with the loss of 15,000 jobs.

The move follows the coronavirus pandemic and subsequent sharp fall in demand for new commercial aircraft.

The positions – including 1,700 in the UK – will go by next summer.

Airbus said commercial aircraft business activity has dropped by close to 40 per cent in recent months as the industry faces an “unprecedented crisis”.

With air traffic not expected to recover to pre-Covid levels before 2023 and potentially as late as 2025, the company said additional measures were needed.

A total of 5,000 positions in France, 5,100 in Germany and 900 in Spain will be cut, along with 1,300 roles at other Airbus’ sites around the world.

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

However, they do not include approximately 900 positions stemming from a pre-Covid-19 identified need to restructure Premium AEROTEC in Germany, which will now be implemented within the frame of this global adaptation plan.

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

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“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.”

While compulsory actions “cannot be ruled out”, Airbus said it would work with its social partners to limit the impact of this plan by relying on all available social measures, including voluntary departures, early retirement, and long term partial unemployment schemes where appropriate.

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