European aircraft manufacturer Airbus is preparing to announce on Tuesday after the stock exchanges close, a restructuring plan that provides for the elimination of several thousand jobs, to face the crisis in air transport that forced Airbus to reduce its production by a third.
According to union representatives, the restructuring plan is set to be presented to unions on Tuesday at a special meeting of the works council. Separately, the French daily La Tribune claims that Airbus is considering eliminating about 15,000 seats, one-third of which are in France, where Airbus has the largest share of operations. The targeted jobs are almost all in the commercial aviation division of the Airbus group, which in addition to passenger planes is also present in the defense, space, and helicopter sectors, as well as at several subsidiaries such as the French Stelia Aerospace or the German Premium Aerotec.
The latter has leased Airbus Industries’ Ghimbav hall until 2023. As for France, the restructuring plan would be presented in detail at a meeting of the Airbus France works council, which will take place on Thursday morning in Blagnac, near Toulouse, where the group’s headquarters are located. According to a union source, the figures for the targeted jobs would be in line with the already announced decrease in production. On Monday, general manager Guillaume Faury told the German daily Die Welt that Airbus would reduce its production and deliveries by about 40% over the next two years and as a result split from some of its employees. Faury declined to comment on the number of employees affected by the reorganization but stressed that “it is about securing our future.”
The Airbus Group has a total of 135,000 employees, of which 81,000 in the commercial aircraft division. Airbus has 49,000 employees in France, 45,500 in Germany, 12,500 in Spain, and 11,000 in the United Kingdom. The figure of 15,000 seats advanced by the daily La Tribune would be the equivalent of over 10% of the total staff of Airbus. Airbus’ main rival, the American group Boeing, has announced since the end of April that it intends to eliminate 10% of its workforce, ie 16,000 employees, through voluntary departures or dismissals. As a result of the stoppage of air traffic due to the coronavirus pandemic, Airbus has reduced its production rate by about a third, for example from 60 to 40 A320 aircraft produced in a month. Behind Airbus, however, are thousands of suppliers, the vast majority of SMEs, who will also be affected. Thus, the component manufacturer Daher has already announced that it is giving up 1,300 of its 10,000 employees.