Airbus to eliminate 3,700 jobs as A380 deliveries slow

AFP TOULOUSE, France (AFP-Jiji) — Giant Airbus is to axe around 3,700 jobs in Europe as it cuts back production of its troubled A380 superjumbo and A400M military transporter, the company and union officials said Wednesday.

The cuts come as France-based Airbus downscales deliveries of the under-selling A380 — the world’s biggest passenger jet — from eight this year to six in 2020.

It also plans to slow production of the equally problematic A400M, as part of a bid to extend the life span of the two ailing aircraft while trying to win more orders.

The company said “up to 3,700 jobs” in France, Germany, Britain and Spain would be affected by the drop in production, without saying whether the posts were being cut or moved elsewhere.

But Force Ouvriere, the biggest union representing Airbus staff, said after a meeting with company executives that Airbus was planning to shed 3,720 jobs while avoiding outright redundancies.

“At no moment was there any discussion of outright layoffs,” union leader Jean-Marc Escourrou said after the meeting at Airbus headquarters in the southwestern French city of Toulouse.

Temporary jobs and subcontractors will be the first to go, starting in about three months time, he added.

The jobs lost will include 1,900 in Germany, 850 in Spain and 470 in France.

Britain will lose 450 jobs at the Filton factory in the southwestern city of Bristol, which builds wings for the A400M, said FO official, Yvonnick Dreno.

“The falling rate for the A400M will affect them 100 percent,” he said.Speech

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