Bosses at a Llanelli factory will be shutting its doors with a loss of nearly 100 jobs.
AIM Altitude has blamed the knock-on effect of the Covid crisis on the aviation industry as the reason for the move.
The firm, which has a plant in Dafen, was the leading supplier for cabin interiors for Boeing and Airbus. The Bournemouth-based company, which employs 99 people, will be shutting its doors at the end of May.
A series of measures are said to have been taken by the company to save the site, including furloughing staff, and curbing overhead costs. The firm also had to have support from shareholders, according to a previous statement.
It revealed today it would be shutting the Dafen site and would be consolidating its manufacturing facilities.
Dafen county Councillor Rob Jones said it was devastating news for the area.
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Mr Jones said: “I feel sorry for the people, it’s a loss of jobs within Dafem and the area – it’s very sad isn’t it? I do hope something can be done. The airline industry has been decimated – no-one is going on holiday any time soon across the world. The air industry is on its back.”
He added: “It’s really sad that the factory is closing because of Covid.”
It’s estimated that the airline industry worldwide lost 314bn US dollars in revenue in 2020 as a result of the pandemic.
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Llanelli MP Nia Griffith added: “My thoughts are with the workers and their families, who will be devastated that it has come to this, in spite of the fact that in meetings with management, the workforce representatives and Unite the Union rep made forceful arguments for keeping the factory open.
“It seemed to us that it was all a foregone conclusion. For a year now, we have been asking the UK Government for a specific Aviation Sector Covid Package, because everyone can see that the sector has been very badly hit, and that any recovery depends on decisions by numerous governments and operators, and such a deal could have made all the difference.
“Without such a deal, I fear many other jobs in the aerospace and aviation industries will also be at risk. “
Plaid Cymru Llanelli candidate Helen Mary Jones has written to Carmarthenshire Council and the Welsh Government regarding the job losses, to ask what help was available to the workers.
“In the Senedd last month I immediately raised the need for action from the Welsh Government about the 99 manufacturing jobs at AIM Altitude when it was announced the jobs were at risk. I am concerned that the present Welsh Government’s economic department does not have the capacity to respond to these situations, while dealing the Covid emergency response,” she said.
“The number of the job losses may not seem huge globally, but in the communities like Llanelli impacted they are significant, and there are supply line issues as well.”
“A Plaid Cymru Welsh Government would develop an intelligence-led approach identifying, as we come out of the COVID crisis, those companies in Wales at risk of redundancies so we will be able to step in at an earlier stage and perhaps intervene to support those businesses, and to encourage them to keep work here in Wales, before they reach crisis point.”