Airbus will cut about 15,000 jobs, or more than 10% of its workforce, over the next 12 months as it comes to terms with a plunge in demand for new aircraft due to the travel crisis caused by the pandemic.
The company said in a statement on Tuesday that it was responding to a 40% drop in activity in its commercial aircraft business in recent months, and expectations that the recovery will be slow.
It had already placed more than 6,000 workers in the United Kingdom and France on government-funded furlough programs back in April.
“Airbus is grateful for the government support that has enabled the company to limit these necessary adaptation measures,” it said. “However with air traffic not expected to recover to pre-Covid levels before 2023 and potentially as late as 2025, Airbus now needs to take additional measures to reflect the post Covid-19 industry outlook.”
Airbus (EADSF) is at the heart of the European aviation industry. Based in France but with production facilities in Germany, Spain and the United Kingdom, the company has 134,000 employees around the world and competes with Boeing (BA) to supply planes to airlines.
The job losses will fall most heavily in France and Germany, with about 5,000 positions going in each country. The United Kingdom will lose 1,700 jobs, Spain 900 and the remainder will be cut at other sites around the world.