Airbus announced plans on June 30th to adapt its global workforce and resize its commercial aircraft activity in response to the COVID-19 crisis. This adaptation is expected to result in a reduction of around 15,000 positions no later than summer 2021. The information and consultation process with social partners has begun, according to a company release, with a view to reaching agreements for implementation starting in autumn 2020.
The companhy’s commercial aircraft business activity has dropped by close to 40% in recent months as the industry faces an unprecedented crisis. Commercial aircraft production rates have been adapted accordingly. Airbus says it is grateful for the government support that has enabled the company to limit these necessary adaptation measures. 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.
Following in-depth analysis of customer demand that has taken place over recent months, Airbus anticipates the need to adapt its global workforce due to COVID-19 by approximately:
These figures include the Airbus subsidiaries Stelia in France and Premium AEROTEC in Germany. However, they do not include approximately 900 positions stemming from a pre-COVID-19 identified need to restructure Premium AEROTEC in Germany, which will now be implemented within the frame of this global adaptation plan.
While compulsory actions cannot be ruled out at this stage, Airbus will work with its social partners to limit the impact of the plan by relying on all available social measures, including voluntary departures, early retirement and long-term partial unemployment schemes where appropriate.
“Airbus is facing the gravest crisis this industry has ever experienced,” said Airbus CEO Guillaume Faury. “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. Our management team and our Board of Directors are fully committed to limiting the social impact of this adaptation. We thank our governmental partners as they help us preserve our expertise and know-how as much as possible and have played an important role in limiting the social impact of this crisis in our industry. The Airbus teams and their skills and competences will enable us to pursue our ambition to pioneer a sustainable future for aerospace.”
Mark Arend has been editor in chief of Site Selection magazine since 2001. Prior to joining the editorial staff in 1997, he worked for 10 years in New York City at Wall Street Computer Review, ABA Banking Journal and Global Investment Technology. Mark graduated from the University of Hartford (Conn.) in 1985 and lives near Atlanta, Georgia.