COVID-19 Effect: Airbus Plans Workforce Cut By 10%, Slashes Production

*Some of the Airbus Series going through the production line

European leading plane manufacturer, Airbus said it has entered into talks with unions as it begins the process of reducing its workforce. The company could reduce its workforce by 10 per cent as it slashes production and grapples with the fallout from the dreaded Coronavirus (COVID-19) impact on the aviation industry, according to media reports. Sources close to the plane maker have told Bloomberg that Airbus is in talks with unions about job cuts although the number of employees to be laid off has not yet been decided.

According to reports, Airbus may end up cutting more than 10,000 of its European staff. A 10% cut would match rival Boeing’s planned workforce reduction. Airbus said in a statement that the company has over the last few weeks implemented “a number of financial, operational and social measures” in response to the impact of COVID-19. “The company will continue to take all necessary measures to ensure the future of Airbus in cooperation with its social partners,” the statement read. Airbus CEO Guillaume Faury previously warned the group’s 135,000 employees to brace for potentially deep job cuts. A letter sent last month to employees warned that Airbus’ survival is at stake unless it takes “far-reaching measures.”

Airbus previously announced that it is cutting production by a third as the demand for new aircraft has evaporated and customers continue to defer and cancel orders. In the first quarter of 2020, Airbus made a €481 million ($522m) loss on a 22 per cent decline in revenues. Faury said in a statement accompanying the financial update: “We’re implementing a number of measures to ensure the future of Airbus. We kicked off early by bolstering available liquidity to support financial flexibility. “We’re adapting commercial aircraft production rates in line with customer demand and concentrating on cash containment and our longer-term cost structure to ensure we can return to normal operations once the situation improves.”


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