Airbus Announces Layoffs Of Around 15,000 Employees

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Airbus has announced today that it will be laying off around 15,000 employees. In response to the current crisis, the manufacturer will complete these layoffs no later than summer 2021. Implementation is set to begin this fall as Airbus begins to consult with its social partners.

Airbus plane and employees
Airbus has announced 15,000 layoffs. Photo: Airbus

Layoffs coming to Airbus

The aircraft manufacturer announced these layoffs as the commercial aircraft business activity has seen a 40% drop. This came as unions expected significant layoffs. With cuts in aircraft production rates and limited sales, Airbus is preparing for the long-haul when it comes to getting out of this crisis. The company noted that air traffic would not recover to pre-crisis levels until 2023. However, it also left open the potential for a full recovery taking until 2025. Thus, Airbus is making changes to its staffing.

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The cuts come as new aircraft sales are down and customers are deferring orders. Photo: Airbus

Speaking on the layoffs in a statement viewed by Simple Flying, CEO Guillaume Faury stated the following:

“Airbus is facing the gravest crisis this industry has ever experienced. 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.”

Where will positions be cut?

Around the world, Airbus is planning on eliminating thousands of positions. The hardest-hit countries are in Europe:

  • France: 5,000 positions
  • Germany: 5,100 positions
  • Spain: 900 positions
  • United Kingdom: 1,700 positions
  • Other worldwide sites: 1,300 positions
Hamburg
Germany and France will see the brunt of these layoffs. Photo: Airbus

The cuts also include Airbus subsidiaries. This includes Stelia in France, which is known for producing pilot seats and premium cabin passenger seats. In Germany, Premium AEROTEC, which develops and produces large aircraft components, will also see layoffs. The Premium AEROTEC cuts come in addition to the 900 layoffs identified before the current crisis as part of a restructuring.

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Limiting the involuntary

Airbus is not ruling out involuntary layoffs. But, before then, the European aircraft manufacturer is working to provide voluntary departure, early retirement, and long-term partial unemployment schemes. This is in line with what some airlines are also doing.

Airbus planes
The goal for Airbus to streamline its workforce without having to resort to involuntary measures. Photo: Airbus

No new aircraft sales

In May, Airbus recorded no new aircraft sales. So far, it does not appear that many airlines are moving forward with plans to acquire new aircraft. In fact, the opposite is happening. Carriers are deferring their aircraft deliveries or else seeking to reduce current aircraft orders.

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Airbus should not expect the traditional hundreds of aircraft orders it has gotten in recent years this year. Photo: Airbus

The Farnborough Airshow, which was expected to be held this year in July, is now off the books due to the current public health crisis. Traditionally, this event is a big one for aircraft orders. Back in 2018, Airbus secured over 400 aircraft orders at Farnborough.

Without any new orders and no immediate need for jets, Airbus is facing a surplus of employees. 15,000 is a massive number that just goes to show the shock this crisis has placed on the aviation industry. To try and spur aircraft deliveries, Airbus even introduced contactless aircraft delivery. However, that did not do much as the manufacturer considered taking airlines to court over undelivered jets.

What do you make of Airbus’ announcement of layoffs? Let us know in the comments!

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