Hundreds of jobs are to be axed by Airbus in the UK as reduced production levels are leading to a global restructure.
The company was planning for a two-year drop of 40% in jetliner output because of the coronavirus pandemic, chief executive Guillaume Faury warned this week.
He said restructuring was needed.
The company has now confirmed 15,000 jobs are at risk globally with 1,700 of those in the UK.
The cuts at individual sites will be annouced in the coming days and meetings with unions in Europe have started.
Six thousand jobs at the wing assembly site at Broughton, North Wales, are said to be particularly vulnerable with the cuts falling on the commercial aircraft side of the business.
Five hundred workers with agency Guidant already face redundancy. The Airbus Commercial sector of the business also employs around 3,000 workers near Bristol, at Filton.
There are 450 employed by Airbus Defence and Space in Newport, 1,000 in Portsmouth and 1,200 in Stevenage. But it’s understood these sites should not be impacted by the announcement.
Watch Airbus’s Beluga XL fly over the Severn Bridge:
Mr Faury said this week: “For the next two years – 2020/21 – we assume that production and deliveries will be 40% lower than originally planned.”
Output – currently reduced by around 33% – would return to normal by 2025, he said.
“It’s a brutal fact, but we must do it. It is about the necessary adjustment to the massive drop in production. It’s about securing our future,” he added.
A €15bn (£13.3bn) aid package has been offered by France for its aerospace industry. The UK Government has been urged to offer similar support to the sector in Britain.
These are the jobs under threat:
● 5,000 positions in France
● 5,100 positions in Germany
● 900 positions in Spain
● 1,700 positions in the UK
● 1,300 positions at Airbus’ other worldwide sites
Compulsory actions are not being ruled out at this stage, and Airbus has said it will work with its social partners to limit the impact of the plan by relying on all available social measures, including voluntary departures, early retirement, and long term partial unemployment schemes where appropriate.
Mr Faury said: “Airbus is facing the gravest crisis this industry has ever experienced.
“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.”