Germany urges ‘no favours’ in Airbus job cuts

"We assume that the restructuring (of Airbus) will proceed in a way that does not favour any country nor disadvantage any country," said German Economy Minister Peter Altmaier. [EPA-EFE/MAJA HITIJ]

German Economy Minister Peter Altmaier on Wednesday (1 July) urged plane builder Airbus to spread the pain fairly as it cuts 15,000 jobs to deal with lower orders following the coronavirus pandemic.

Just like airline giant Lufthansa, which Berlin has stepped in to save with €9 billion of taxpayer cash, “we have an interest that (Airbus) survives the crisis undamaged,” Altmaier said.

Nevertheless, “we assume that the restructuring will proceed in a way that does not favour any country nor disadvantage any country,” he added.

The company had said Tuesday its cuts would fall most heavily on Europe’s top economy, with 5,100 positions to go compared with 5,000 in France, 1,700 in Britain and 900 in Spain.

Airbus to cut 15,000 jobs as virus bites hard

Airbus on Tuesday (30 June) unveiled plans to shed 15,000 jobs within a year, including 900 already earmarked in Germany, saying its future was at stake after the coronavirus outbreak paralysed air travel.

Some 45,600 of Airbus’ roughly 135,000 employees worldwide work in Germany, compared with 49,000 in France – meaning the German share of the planned layoffs is higher than the French.

Altmaier also recalled that Berlin was investing around €1 billion in developing quieter low-emissions aircraft, with Airbus among companies eligible for the funds.

Paris reacted more forcefully Tuesday, with the economy ministry blasting the planned Airbus cuts as “excessive” and urging limits on forced departures.

Company bosses have said they will discuss with unions how to achieve the job reductions, with measures including voluntary departures, early retirement, and long-term partial unemployment schemes all on the table.

Death of an aviation giant, as A380 feels virus bite

Coronavirus has hastened the demise of the Airbus A380 – the world’s largest airliner – as the aviation industry scrambles to adapt to lower demand for air travel, which has essentially made the double-decker super-jumbo a plane out of time.

Subscribe to our newsletters

Subscribe
Contribute