Airbus forecasts difficult times for employment in the group. - Michel Euler / AP / SIPA

It doesn't smell good at all. Further reductions in production rates are to be considered for Airbus, which could have to make "bitter" and "difficult" decisions for employment "before the end of July," warned the executive chairman of the European aircraft manufacturer. In a letter addressed to the nearly 140,000 employees of the group and published by the newspaper La Tribune on Saturday, Guillaume Faury indicates to them that he "intends to return" to them "before the end of July with more details" on the "plan adaptation ”of the group, which has already reduced its production by 40% for 2020 and 2021 compared to previous forecasts for these two years, in order to cope with the Covid-19 crisis.

According to Guillaume Faury, the level of air traffic in 2019 will not be found worldwide until 2023 "at best", "even 2025". "The aviation sector crisis will be long and of such magnitude that it requires us to take more important measures" than those already taken at Airbus, explains the manager.

Job cuts in sight

“The scale of the Covid-19 crisis for our sector requires Airbus to adapt. This adaptation actually means a significant reduction in the size of our business. After decades of uninterrupted growth, this is a real test. It forces us to bitter decisions, "adds Guillaume Faury in his letter which also mentions the need for" courage "in the face of" difficult decisions ".

"These decisions are unfortunately necessary to protect the future of our business," said the manager. Before executives of the group, he had already indicated that a restructuring plan including job cuts would be necessary. "We are determined to preserve the know-how of the company as much as possible," stresses Mr. Faury, "however, this is also why we did not rush to announce anything earlier".

The American Boeing, which had already been entangled for more than a year with the setbacks of its Boeing 737 MAX, meanwhile announced in late April the reduction of 10% of its workforce, or 16,000 jobs. The Canadian Bombardier plans to reduce its workforce by 2,500 positions, when aeronautical engine manufacturers General Electric and Rolls Royce announced 12,600 and 9,000 workforce reductions, respectively.


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