Airbus on Tuesday (30 June) unveiled plans to shed 15,000 jobs within a year, including 900 already earmarked in Germany, saying its future was at stake after the coronavirus outbreak paralysed air travel.
Now, the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Airbus Guillaume Faury has provided an indication as to when the European manufacturer expects some sense of normality and a return to 2019-levels of business. "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 ... adjusting to the overwhelming challenges of our customers". Air traffic is not expected to recover to pre-crisis levels before 2023.
Airbus is to cut 15,000 jobs as it faces "the gravest crisis this sector has ever experienced". At the time it did not specify plans for employee cuts.
In Germany, about 14,000 workers are on such part-time employment furloughs, amounting to a 20% reduction in work capacity.
Representatives from the Airbus unions and the company met yesterday and will meet again today after holding their own discussions on Monday.
Faury, a Frenchman who speaks fluent German and is not closely associated with the company's previously warring factions, virtually all of whom have left, thanked governments as well as financial markets for support during the crisis.
Faury told German newspaper Die Welt in an interview on Monday that the company is bracing for production and deliveries about 40% lower for the next two years and the solutions available to help mitigate the impact "will not be enough". "It could be, by far, much worse without all the systems that have been put in place and this is protecting a lot of jobs".
"Airbus is grateful for the government support that has enabled the company to limit these necessary adaptation measures", it said. Unite said 1,116 manufacturing jobs would be lost, with Airbus' largest United Kingdom factories in North Wales and Bristol affected, along with 611 office based jobs.
Airbus is also planning to cut 5,000 jobs in France, 5,100 in Germany, 900 in Spain and 1,300 positions at its other worldwide sites. Commercial aircraft production rates have been adapted accordingly.
It comes after engine maker Rolls-Royce said last month it was to cut 9,000 jobs from its global workforce.
The group joins a long list of airlines that have announced job cuts in recent weeks. That's a 20% cut.
But it faces tough talks with governments as well as unions, which immediately pledged to fight compulsory redundancies.
Airbus will try to avoid involuntary layoffs, he said, but "compulsory actions can not be ruled out".