Airbus to cut 15,000 jobs globally as coronavirus crisis bites

The Toulouse-based plane maker will axe 11% of its global workforce within a year

FILE PHOTO: The logo of Airbus is pictured at the entrance of the Airbus facility in Bouguenais, near Nantes, France, June 30, 2020. REUTERS/Stephane Mahe/File Photo
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Airbus, Europe's biggest aerospace group, is planning to cut 15,000 jobs worldwide in a major restructuring move to ride out the Covid-19 pandemic that has sapped air travel demand.

The Toulouse-based plane maker will axe 11 per cent of its global workforce by summer of 2021 in response to the coronavirus crisis, Airbus said in a statement on June 30. The company will reduce its production output by 40 per cent in line with a slump in demand for jets.

“The crisis the aviation sector is facing will be of a length and magnitude that calls for more structural and wide-ranging actions,” Guillaume Faury, Airbus chief executive, said. “We need to act now by adapting our workforce to reflect the new situation in the commercial aircraft sector and protect the longer-term future of our company.”

Airbus, which has about 135,000 employees globally, will cut 5,000 jobs in France and 5,100 positions in Germany, two of its main bases. It will also eliminate 900 positions in Spain, 1,700 in the UK and 1,300 positions at its other sites around the world.

The plane maker said it needed to take these measures to reflect the post-Covid-19 outlook where air traffic is not expected to recover before 2023 and could take up to 2025 to reach pre-virus levels.

Airlines and their employees have felt the hit from the travel slump while plane makers and engine-makers have seen business decline, prompting them to cut costs and preserve cash.

Airbus' US rival Boeing is in a similar situation and said in April it would reduce its workforce by about 10 per cent, or about 16,000 jobs, to preserve cash.