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Airbus to cut 1,700 jobs in UK

The Independent logo The Independent 30/06/2020 Vincent Wood
a group of parked cars in a parking lot in front of a building © Provided by The Independent

Aerospace giant Airbus is to cut 1,700 jobs in the UK in response to the impact of the coronavirus pandemic.

The firm operates sites at Broughton in north Wales, where its wings are manufactured, and another factory at Filton in Bristol.

It is cutting a total of 15,000 jobs across its global operations, including 5,100 in Germany and 5,000 in France.

“Airbus is facing the gravest crisis this industry has ever experienced,” said Airbus CEO Guillaume Faury.

“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.”

The job cuts come three months after the firm warned it was “bleeding cash at an unprecedented speed” due to the pandemic, despite taking advantage of government furlough schemes and state-backed loans.

Airbus said commercial aircraft business activity had plunged by 40 per cent in recent months and air traffic was not expected to recover to pre-Covid levels before 2023.

The company said it would reduce its 135,000-strong global workforce by 15,000 jobs “no later than summer 2021”, but would attempt to limit the impact on staff by relying on voluntary departures, early retirement, and long-term partial unemployment schemes.

Paul Everitt, chief executive of trade body ADS, said that Airbus was central to the UK aerospace industry and further government support was needed to ensure the sector recovered.

He added: This difficult news will be unsettling for their employees and those working as part of the supply chain.

“We have already seen tens of thousands of jobs across the aviation and aerospace sectors put at risk as a result of this crisis.

“Further measures are urgently required to support a strong recovery in our sector. This should include increased investment in UK innovation, help to recapitalise the supply chain and using public procurement to support high-value UK manufacturing.”

Shadow transport secretary Jim McMahon said the government should have taken action to secure jobs across the aviation industry.

“Thousands of jobs have been under threat of redundancy, with staff, the sector and politicians of all sides urging the government to act, yet Tory ministers have been found wanting,” he said.

“Labour has consistently called for an extension to the furlough in the most impacted industries, and a sectoral deal that supports the whole aviation industry, including securing jobs and protecting the supply chain, while continuing to press for higher environmental standards.”

Additional reporting by Press Association

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