Airbus 'to be resized, could cut output'

Plane maker Airbus has told senior staff the company must be "resized" in plans to be set out around end of June and is ready to cut jet production again to tackle any second wave of the coronavirus crisis, people briefed on the matter say.

Chief Executive Guillaume Faury told Airbus bosses to "face reality" in a briefing on Thursday on the crisis, which has idled an estimated 14,000 jetliners or two thirds of the global fleet and left manufacturers and airlines battling to save cash.

Faury once again warned that Airbus may not survive without change and insisted that "radical," "proactive" and urgent steps were needed, according to people briefed on the presentation.

An Airbus spokesman said no decisions had been made. "Any further measures will be discussed first with our social partners, which means it is too early to speculate on any figures," he added.

The warning by the head of one of Europe's largest industrial employers, with major factories in four countries, comes amid speculation of thousands of restructuring job losses.

Faury made reference in his presentation for the first time to a possible "restructuring plan" but told bosses a figure of 10,000 job cuts reported by a British newspaper was speculation.

Airbus plans to overhaul its structure to become simpler and more profitable, using "all necessary" social tools, Faury said, according to the people briefed after a weekly management call.

On Wednesday, industry sources said Airbus was exploring restructuring with potentially deep job cuts after furloughing thousands of staff, but no decision was imminent.

Unions are steeling themselves for heavy cuts in production and administration posts after Airbus slashed jet production.

A resurgence of the virus could trigger new output cuts, on top of a one-third cut in narrow-body jets and cuts of up to 42 per cent in wide-body models, people briefed on the presentation said.

However, Airbus appears confident current plans will hold if a fragile recovery from lockdowns and travel bans continues.

Austrlaian Associated PressBack to Breaking News

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