Airbus to slash 15,000 jobs as it deals with coronavirus pandemic

European aircraft manufacturer Airbus is cutting 15,000 jobs amid the coronavirus pandemic now gripping the aviation industry.

The upcoming layoff is a result of a 40% drop in business brought by the pandemic. In a statement, Airbus CEO Guillaume Faury said, "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.”

Airbus plans to cut 5,000 positions in France, 5,100 positions in Germany, 900 in Spain, 1,700 positions in the UK, and 1,300 positions at other sites. While Airbus has a workforce of 135,000 employees, analysts think that the cuts may go as high as 20,000.

The European manufacturer initially plans to achieve these job cut numbers through voluntary separation however, Airbus does not rule out involuntary cuts if necessary to reach its target.

Global aviation industry comes to a halt

The covid-19 pandemic has brought the aviation industry into a grinding halt as countries were compelled to shut borders and passengers deciding to cancel their trips as a response to the spread of the virus. While countries are slowly opening their borders and air travel is restarting, it is expected that pre-covid travel demand numbers may not return until 2023 or so.

Faury also made previous statements indicating that he did not expect air travel to return to pre-pandemic levels until at least 2023 to 2025.

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