Airbus shedding 15,000 jobs, mostly in Europe

An Airbus technician works in a fuselage segment in the new structural assembly of the Airbus A320 family in Hangar 245 at the Airbus plant in Finkenwerder.

Christian Charisius | picture alliance | Getty Images

Battered by the coronavirus pandemic, European aircraft manufacturer Airbus said Tuesday that it must eliminate 15,000 jobs, mostly in Europe, to safeguard its future and warned of more thin years ahead.

“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,” the company said in a statement.

No later than the summer of 2021, Airbus wants to shed 5,000 workers in France, 5,100 in Germany, 1,700 in Britain, 900 in Spain and 1,300 others at facilities elsewhere.

Airbus said it wants to start making the cuts within months, from this autumn. It will aim for voluntary departures and early retirements, but also said that compulsory job losses can’t be ruled out. It said it is already consulting with unions.

Airbus said its commercial aircraft business activity has plummeted by close to 40% as the pandemic has shut borders, brought mass tourism to a screeching halt and put airlines on their knees, thumping the European manufacturer and its rival Boeing.

“Airbus is facing the gravest crisis this industry has ever experienced,” the company’s CEO, Guillaume Faury, said in the statement. “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.”

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Airbus reported 481 million euros ($515 million) in losses in the first quarter, put thousands of workers on furlough and sought billions in loans to survive the coronavirus crisis.



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