Airbus has announced plans to lay off 15,000 workers from its facilities around the world, citing a 40 percent drop in commercial aircraft business activity.
“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.”
The firm plans to offer employees options for voluntary departure, early retirement and long-term partial unemployment, before instituting compulsory layoffs, the company said, with a goal of 15,000 fewer employees by summer of 2021.
Most of the layoffs are planned in Europe, where the firm is headquartered. The firm offered these estimates of where layoffs would occur:
- 5,000 positions in France
- 5,100 positions in Germany
- 900 positions in Spain
- 1,700 positions in the UK
- 1,300 positions at other sites worldwide.
At the end of 2019, Airbus employed 1,000 workers in Mobile and was moving toward 1,300 workers with the opening of its second Final assembly line in the Port City, where it makes A320 and A220 family aircraft. Airbus also has an engineering center in Mobile.
Airbus also has a final assembly line for A320 craft in Tianjin, China; an engineering center in Bangalore, India; an A220 final assembly line in Mirabel, Quebec, Canada, and many other facilities around the world.
Both Airbus and rival plane maker, American-based Boeing Co., have watched plane sales evaporate since Covid-19 brought travel to a screeching halt and both have announced major layoffs. (See “Airbus and Boeing Struggle for Survival: The Box Score.”)
Just last year, for the first time, Airbus bested Boeing for annual plane sales.