AIRBUS has announced it will cut 1,700 jobs in the UK as part of its response to the Covid-19 pandemic.


UPDATE 8PM: Airbus has confirmed to the South Wales Argus that its Defence and Space facility in Newport will not be affected by the planned job cuts.


The aviation manufacturer today announced plans to "adapt its global workforce and resize its commercial aircraft activity" in response to the coronavirus crisis, which has caused demand in the transport and travel sectors to plummet.

Airbus said its commercial aircraft business activity had "dropped by close to 40 per cent in recent months as the industry faces an unprecedented crisis".

The 1,700 UK job losses are part of a wider "necessary reduction" of around 15,000 Airbus jobs around the world.

“Airbus is facing the gravest crisis this industry has ever experienced,” the firm's chief executive, Guillaume Faury, said today.


“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."

Mr Faury said Airbus was grateful for government support during the early stages of the pandemic, adding that the firm's leadership was "fully committed to limiting the social impact" of the job cuts.

Airbus said compulsory actions "cannot be ruled out at this stage" but the firm will seek voluntary departures, early retirement, and long-term partial unemployment schemes "where appropriate".

The Unite trade union has called the plans "devastating" and urged Airbus to rethink.

Unite said Airbus, which also has a factory base in Broughton, in North Wales, was "one of Wales key anchor companies and is central to the future prosperity of the Welsh economy".

Peter Hughes, Unite Wales regional secretary, said: “The significance of large scale job losses at Airbus would have a devastating impact on the aerospace sector in Wales and on the wider Welsh economy.

"Unite has been calling for the UK government to put a plan of support in place for the Aerospace sector for months. This support has been provided by France and Germany, will the UK government now step up to the plate and do everything required to support UK aviation jobs?

"We are calling upon Airbus to hold their nerve and step back from implementing their plan.

"Everything must be done to engage with government to see if the necessary support can be provided to delay this decision until this crisis abates. Certainly further extension of the furlough scheme to the aerospace sector would be a medium term solution whilst it rebuilds and recovers."

Unite also said it would not accept a plan which involved compulsory redundancies.