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Plane-maker Airbus to cut 15,000 jobs amid coronavirus fallout

  • 30 June 2020
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Aerospace giant Airbus says it plans to cut 15,000 jobs as it deals with the effects of the coronavirus crisis.

It will cut 1,700 jobs in the UK, along with thousands more in Germany, Spain and elsewhere.

The move is subject to talks with unions which have opposed compulsory redundancies.

The Unite union said the Airbus announcement was "another act of industrial vandalism" against the UK aerospace sector.

Some 134,000 people work for Airbus worldwide, with around a tenth of them in the UK.

The firm said the UK cuts would fall only on the commercial aircraft division at its two sites at Broughton in Flintshire and Filton, Bristol.

More details of the job losses and how they will break down between the two giant factories will come at the end of the week after talks with unions.

However, Unite said it expected 1,116 manufacturing jobs and 611 office-based jobs to go, shrinking Airbus's UK workforce by 15%.

The firm expects to make the cuts by summer 2021, but hopes the majority of redundancies will be voluntary or through early retirement of staff.

The company warned in April that it was "bleeding cash at an unprecedented speed" as it struggled with the impact of the coronavirus crisis.

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  • 2 months later...

Airbus CEO warns on jobs after air travel market worsens

From BNN Bloomberg – link to story

Tara Patel, Bloomberg News

An Airbus A330neo passenger aircraft stands on the final assembly line at the Airbus SE factory in Toulouse, France, on Monday, Nov. 26, 2018. Known as the A330neo for New Engine Option, the model was originally scheduled to join the TAP Air Portugal fleet from the end of 2017.

An Airbus A330neo passenger aircraft stands on the final assembly line at the Airbus SE factory in Toulouse, France, on Monday, Nov. 26, 2018. Known as the A330neo for New Engine Option, the model was originally scheduled to join the TAP Air Portugal fleet from the end of 2017. , Bloomberg

Airbus SE Chief Executive Officer Guillaume Faury stepped up his warning on forced job cuts at the European planemaker as a sharper-than-expected decline in travel leads carriers to push back deliveries of new jets.

“The situation has worsened” coming out of the summer high season, he said Tuesday in an interview on France’s RTL radio. “Airlines are in a more difficult situation after the holidays than what we were hoping.”

The industrial giant, whose cost-cutting plans call for the elimination of 15,000 jobs, will have to “adapt to the new environment,” he added, in particular on the employment front. The shares dropped as much as 2.7 per cent.

“It will be very difficult to stick with voluntary departures,” Faury said, reiterating that the company “is potentially at risk” if it doesn’t take the right steps. He pointed to a 40 per cent decline in the jet maker’s production and deliveries.

The European rival to Boeing Co., grappling with an unprecedented collapse in air travel because of the coronavirus, is already trying to entice workers to leave to limit tougher measures. France is braced to absorb about one-third of the planned cuts and Faury on Tuesday said talks with unions are aimed at using tools like part-time employment and state support of research and development to avoid forcing people to leave the company.

“Airlines aren’t canceling their orders but they aren’t honoring deliveries,” Faury said. “The delays on deliveries are very strong” because carriers don’t have the means to take ownership of the planes after passengers and revenue dried up.

Production Rates

Airbus’s 40 per cent reduction in output is holding but “I’m extremely cautious about how the crisis is developing and what is coming next with COVID,” he said.

Airbus shares fell 1.3 per cent at 9:25 a.m. in Paris, bringing the year-to-date decline to 52 per cent.

While Faury already warned that voluntary measures were unlikely to be enough to meet Airbus’ job-cut target, he has raised the alarm further in recent weeks.

“No one can guarantee that there won’t be forced departures,” he said Tuesday. “We have lots of work to do and will do everything to avoid getting to that.”

The grim outlook for the industry was driven home Monday when Deutsche Lufthansa AG accelerated fleet and staff cuts amid mounting concern about the severity of the downturn.

Europe’s biggest airline will pull 150 jets by mid-decade, 50 more than in its previous plan, leading to more job cuts than the 22,000 already due to go. Air France-KLM Chief Executive Officer Ben Smith also weighed in, warning in an interview with L’Opinion that more cost cuts may be needed after travel demand dropped off at the end of the summer.

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Airbus Mulls Two-Year Furlough in Production to Limit Job Cuts

From BNN Bloomberg – link to story

Charlotte Ryan and James Regan, Bloomberg News | 26 September 2020

Protective covers sit on the turbofan engines and landing gear of an Airbus SE A330 passenger at Chateauroux airport in Chateauroux, France, on Thursday, Aug. 27, 2020. The single-runway airport located in France’s flat, central basin has turned away airlines seeking to store more planes -- a sign the global aviation slump is deeply set despite some easing of travel restrictions. Photographer: Nathan Laine/Bloomberg Protective covers sit on the turbofan engines and landing gear of an Airbus SE A330 passenger at Chateauroux airport in Chateauroux, France, on Thursday, Aug. 27, 2020. The single-runway airport located in France’s flat, central basin has turned away airlines seeking to store more planes — a sign the global aviation slump is deeply set despite some easing of travel restrictions. Photographer: Nathan Laine/Bloomberg , Bloomberg

(Bloomberg) — Airbus SE is considering reduced working time in production areas in France over the next two years to help the European planemaker limit job losses prompted by a collapse in global air travel due to Covid-19.

The move would help it preserve skills in order to restart single-aisle aircraft production at rates similar to last year between 2023 and 2025, Airbus human resources head for France, Donald Fraty, wrote in a letter sent to workers on Friday and seen by Bloomberg.

“Airbus faces an unprecedented crisis,” Fraty wrote, referring to an expert report on the economic situation presented to the work’s council on Thursday. “The prospects for resuming our activities are deeply uncertain.”

Airbus has pledged to slash 15,000 jobs across its operations, with France braced to absorb about one-third of those, as it grapples with an unprecedented industry slump that has seen almost all its airline customers postpone or switch orders.

Chief Executive Officer Guillaume Faury stepped up warnings over jobs this week, saying the situation had worsened and that carriers were in a more difficult situation after the summer holiday period than he had hoped.

The planemaker is seeking a majority agreement with staff that opens the way to furloughing and other tools that will lower the number of compulsory redundancies, Fraty wrote.

‘Save Airbus’

If approved, reduced working time would apply from Jan. 1, with partial unemployment prolonged for everyone in France until the end of this year. The work’s council is due to decide on the plan on Oct. 15.

More than 3,500 staff in France have already expressed an interest in voluntary severance, mostly based on age-related measures, according to Fraty.

“The end of the negotiations will not mark the end of our work. Quite the contrary. The fight to save Airbus will continue,” Fraty wrote. “The period ahead of us will be difficult.”

The human resources head added that he expects the government to provide research contributions for several projects, including its zero-emissions aircraft, which would also help to limit redundancies.

©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

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