Airbus to slash 1,700 jobs from its UK workforce

Planemaker Airbus says the fallout from the coronavirus crisis means it has to cut 15,000 jobs globally, with 1,700 to go from its two UK factories in Deeside and Bristol. Tony McDonough reports

Airbus employs around 6,000 people at its Broughton wing-making plant


Planemaker Airbus is to cut 1,700 jobs from its UK wing-making factories in Deeside and Bristol as it continues to grapple with the catastrophic fallout from the coronavirus pandemic.

Announcing a total of 15,000 job cuts across its global workforce, Airbus chief executive Guillaume Faury said the company was facing “the gravest crisis this industry has ever experienced”.

The global COVID-19 pandemic has had a devastating effect on the aviation sector with a number of airlines requiring government bailouts to survive. Airlines have started to fly again following lockdowns but passenger numbers aren’t expected to recover for at least two years.

Budget airline easyJet, which operates more than 30 routes out of Liverpool John Lennon Airport said on Tuesday that it was cutting 4,500 jobs and would close its bases at Newcastle, Stansted and Southend.

This has had a severe knock-on effect on the world’s two biggest aircraft manufacturers, the Europe-based Airbus and US rival Boeing. Airbus says commercial activity has plummeted by almost 40% in the last few months.

The company employs around 6,000 people at its Broughton plant close to Chester and just inside the North Wales border. Many of its employees live in the Liverpool city region. Airbus has furloughed more than half its staff at Broughton under the Government’s coronavirus job retention scheme.

The company said it would aim to achieve the job cuts through voluntary redundancies but warned it could not rule out compulsory losses. It is also cutting 5,000 jobs in France, 5,100 in Germany, 900 in Spain and 1,300 from other sites worldwide.

Guillaume Faury
Airbus chief executive Guillaume Faury


Mr Faury said: “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.”

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