The move comes after months of stagnant air traffic that has resulted in a series of airline bankruptcies and restructuring worldwide.
Most of the cuts, which represent approximately 11% of the company’s total workforce, will be primarily in France and Germany, where the main Airbus manufacturing plants are located.
Many airlines have been on the verge of collapse, as have many providers. And the financial pressures on original equipment manufacturers and large suppliers have been so intense that they have no choice but to focus on their own survival rather than considering customer financing or supplier support on any scale. Airbus had already announced a 30% overall production cut on April 8 (see: Airbus stops its production in Spain except for some essential activities and Airbus temporarily stops its production at plants in Germany and the US).
The Activity of the Airbus Commercial Aircraft division has declined by nearly 40% in recent months as the industry faces an unprecedented crisis., as this newspaper advanced in Demand for new aircraft will drop 25% until 2025 due to the pandemic. Commercial aircraft production rates have been adapted accordingly. Airbus received financial support from the French Government (see: France includes Airbus in a rescue of € 15,000 million for aviation).
“However, given that air traffic is not expected to recover to pre-COVID levels before 2023 and potentially as late as 2025, Airbus now needs to take additional action to reflect the post-COVID-19 industry perspective, “it said in a statement.
After the in-depth analysis of customer demand that has been carried out in recent months, Airbus anticipates the need to adapt its global workforce due to COVID-19 in approximately:
- 5,000 jobs in France
- 5,100 positions in Germany
- 900 positions in Spain
- 1,700 jobs in the UK
- 1,300 positions in other plants in the world
These figures include subsidiaries of Airbus Stelia in France and Premium AEROTEC in Germany, although in the latter there was already a need for restructuring identified before COVID-19, which contemplated a cut of approximately 900 posts that will now be implemented within the framework of this global adaptation plan.
Airbus stresses that the details of the plan’s challenges will be defined with the social partners, trying limit the impact of this plan by relying on all available social measures, including voluntary departure, early retirement and long-term partial unemployment plans, as appropriate.
“Airbus is facing the most serious crisis this industry has ever experienced,” said Airbus CEO Guillaume Faury.
“The measures we have taken so far have allowed us to absorb the initial impact of this global pandemic. Now we must make sure that we can maintain our company and emerge from the crisis as a healthy and global aerospace leader, adjusting to the overwhelming challenges of our clients. To face that reality, we must now take more far-reaching measures. “
Finally, he has thanked his government partners, “as they help us preserve our experience and knowledge as much as possible and have played an important role in limiting the social impact of this crisis on our industry.”