Airbus is to cut 15,000 jobs as it faces “the gravest crisis this sector has ever experienced”.
The world’s largest manufacturer of aircraft is just one of a many companies to announce drastic cuts as the airline industry attempts to survive amid the coronavirus crisis, which brought much of the world’s air travel to a halt in March.
Airbus, based in the Netherlands, announced on Tuesday evening it was reducing its worldwide workforce by 11%, or 15,000 jobs.
Around 5,100 jobs will be cut in Germany, 5,000 in France, 1,700 in the United Kingdom, 900 in Spain and 1,300 at the group’s other sites around the world.
Guillaume Faury, Airbus’s executive chairman, said the company was “faced with the gravest crisis this sector has ever experienced”.
Airbus saw its share price hit a record high in January this year, just before the coronavirus pandemic caused havoc on the aviation industry.
“Over the weeks of this crisis, this country’s aerospace jobs have gone hand over fist yet not one word of support or act of assistance has been forthcoming from the government, said the union’s assistant general secretary Steve Turner.
The French finance ministry Bercy said the cuts were “excessive”.
“We expect Airbus to make full use of the instruments put in place by the government to reduce the number of job cuts,” Bercy said in a statement to AFP.