- The bad news has come from Toulouse: Airbus will cut 15,000 jobs, including 5,100 in Germany and 5,000 in France.
- An “adaptation plan” to a post-Covid-19 world where the airline industry is not expected to rise above the water for several years.
- “Forced measures” are not ruled out at this stage, but the aircraft manufacturer wants to avoid them by using early retirement, voluntary redundancies and long-term partial unemployment.
It was expected, but the announcement still sounded like a thunderclap. Airbus will cut thousands of jobs. The global giant unveiled its post-adaptation “plan” on Tuesday
health crisis during a European works council meeting in Blagnac, near
Toulouse. As expected, he plans to cut 15,000 jobs, the most affected countries being France and Germany, with 5,000 and 5,100 departures respectively “no later than summer 2021”.
“Although forced measures cannot be excluded at this stage”, the aircraft manufacturer assured in a press release that it “will work with its social partners to limit the impact of this plan by relying on all available social measures, including voluntary departures, early retirement measures, as well as long-term partial unemployment for activities that lend themselves to it ”.
Forced departures, union red line
This is the limit set by the unions. “For FO [majoritaire], the red line is to decrease this figure which seems excessive to us, and to put in place all possible measures so as not to have to deplore the least forced dismissal ”, reacted the union coordinator, Dominique Delbouis.
The CFE-CGC has the same requirement. “This crisis is cyclical, Airbus is a solid company,” added Jean-François Knepper, FO delegate, who ruled out a call for strike immediately.
The state bailout was not enough
This drastic announcement falls despite the government’s 15 billion euro support plan for aeronautics. Aware that critics are going to rain – Bercy already judges the number of job losses “excessive” – the builder “thanks the governments for their support which has enabled the company to limit these necessary adaptation measures”. But in a context where a return to normal aviation activity is not expected before 2023, “or even 2025”, he indicates that he is obliged to go further.
“Airbus is facing the most serious crisis this sector has ever known (…), said Guillaume Faury, the boss of Airbus. We must now ensure the sustainability of the business and guarantee our ability to emerge in the crisis as a global leader in the aerospace sector. ”