PARIS (Reuters) – Airbus will cut production rates for its A380 superjumbo and A400M military aircraft, it confirmed on Wednesday, adding that up to 3,700 jobs would be hit in France, Germany, Britain and Spain.
Dubai’s Emirates saved the A380, the world’s largest passenger jet, from death row in January with an order worth $16 billion at list prices. But demand elsewhere remains weak and Airbus said it would fall to six A380 deliveries a year by 2020, from an expected 12 deliveries this year.
In a sign of the challenges Airbus faces with the 544-seat A380, Qatar Airways CEO Akbar al-Baker said the planemaker needed to improve the double-decker jet’s fuel efficiency before it would look at another order.
The A400M program, meanwhile, has been beset by glitches and cost overruns. Deliveries of the new troop transporter will slow to eight in 2020, compared with 15 this year and 11 in 2019.
Airbus has presented the adjustments to its European Works Council and will now enter formal negotiations with staff representatives at European and national levels, the company said in a statement.
“About 10 sites will be impacted in Europe. Most workers will be redeployed,” an Airbus spokesman said.
Trade unionists present at the meeting said that Britain’s Filton site, Spain’s factory in Sevilla and plants in Germany’s Bremen and Augsburg would be the main ones affected.
Yvonnick Dreno, a senior Force Ouvriere unionist said that 1,925 jobs would be affected in Germany, 860 in Spain, 465 in Britain and 470 in France.
“We believe the redeployment to other programs will be relatively easy in France,” he told Reuters, adding that reassigning workers would be harder in Spain and Britain, where production is more focused on the A400M.
Photo Rob Vogelaar