Airbus production cuts put 3,700 jobs at risk

Scaling back of A380 and A400M planes could hit staff in UK, France, Germany and Spain

Airbus has confirmed itis cutting production of two aircraft in a move that will put up to 3,700 jobs at risk in France, Germany, Spain and at Filton, near Bristol.

The double-decker A380 superjumbo and the A400M military plane would be scaled back, the aerospace company said.

The A380 project came close to shutdown in January until a last-minute $16bn (£11.5bn) order for 16 of the airliners from Dubai’s Emirates, threw the programme a lifeline.

However, demand remains weak and Airbus said deliveries would fall to six a year from 2020, down from an anticipated 12 deliveries this year.

The A400M programme has been hit by delays and cost overruns. Deliveries of the new troop transporter will fall from 15 this year to eight in 2020.

Airbus presented the adjustments to its European works council and would now enter formal negotiations with staff representatives at European and national levels, the company said.

Airbus said about 10 sites in Europe would be affected, but would not provide details other than to say most workers would be offered redeployment.

However, trade unionists present at the works council meeting said Britain’s Filton site, as well as plants in Bremen and Augsburg in Germany, and a factory in Sevilla, Spain, would be the main ones affected.

Yvonnick Dreno, a senior Force Ouvrière unionist, said 1,925 jobs would be affected in Germany, 860 in Spain, 465 in Britain and 470 in France. He said redeployment to other programmes would be difficult in Spain and Britain.

At a delivery rate of six per year, the A380 programme will make a loss, but Airbus said it hoped the Emirates deal would spur orders from other airlines.

IAG, which operates British Airways, Iberia, Vueling and Aer Lingus, said on Tuesday it would consider buying more A380s if the aircraft was cheaper.

The A400M, Europe’s largest defence project, has been beset by chronic delays and glitches.