Ravaged by the ongoing global health scare, European aircraft maker Airbus announced Tuesday that 15,000 jobs, mainly in Europe, would be cut in order to protect its future and warned of more difficult years ahead.
In a statement, Airbus disclosed that with air traffic not expected to return to pre-COVID rates before 2023 and possibly as late as 2025, additional steps are now required to maintain solvency.
Europe's biggest aerospace group is planning to slash 5,000 jobs in France, 5,100 in Germany, 1,700 in Britain, 900 in Spain and 1,300 more in other facilities by around the summer of next year at the latest.
Citing a 40 percent drop in passenger aircraft operations and an unprecedented crisis that the airline industry is beset with, Airbus disclosed it would cut around 10 percent of its workforce around the world, with terminations affecting operations in the four key geographic.
Guillaume Faury, Airbus chief executive officer, said they have been preparing workers for the tough times in a host of recent correspondence in which Faury warned it would be required to adapt to a "lasting decline" in demand for commercial flight operators.
Airline companies have taken a heavy blow as countries around the world imposed widespread travel bans, effectively grounding aircraft to curb spread of the coronavirus. As a result, Boeing announced in April that it would reduce its headcount by 10 percent.
In the United Kingdom, the Unite Labor Union criticized the British government for failing to revive the air industry, claiming that Prime Minister Boris Johnson's administration must do something to avert its collapse.
Around 134,000 employees work for Airbus globally, and about a tenth of the company's staff are employed in the UK.
Airbus said the UK retrenchments would impact its locations in Filton in Bristol and Broughton in Wales. The company expects to carry out the reductions by summer next year.
A French finance ministry official disclosed that the government expected the aviation group to use instruments it had made available to minimize employment cut figures. On June 3, Reuters revealed that Airbus's reduced output targets pointed on documents to reductions of 14,000 full-time positions.
The company is estimated to balance its response to the market's worst troubles with pressure to keep job cuts to a minimum after Germany and France bared plans to back aerospace.
At the end of April, Airbus reported a first-quarter loss of 481 million euros while consolidated sales dropped by nearly a sixth to 10.6 billion euros from the first quarter of last year.