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Gloucestershire Business News

Airbus cannot rule out further job cuts

The chairman of Airbus UK has said further job losses cannot be ruled out after the announcement of 1,700 redundancies.

Factories at Filton, near Bristol, and Broughton in north Wales will be hit by the cuts as 15,000 jobs are set to be axed around the world.

And John Harrison said it is impossible to rule out further losses as the impact of the coronavirus pandemic hits the entire aviation industry.

He told Sky News: "I don't think you can exclude anything because there's so much uncertainty.

"In January, if you'd asked me if I'd be standing here in July telling you about these job cuts, I'd have said you were crazy, so I don't know.

"What we try to do is be responsible managers, think about the long-term sustainability of Airbus - that's our job and that's what we're trying to do today in a humane way with respect to those people who will leave the company."

The jobs losses are expected to be completed by next summer and although he hoped voluntary redundancy and early retirement would make up the bulk of the cuts, Mr Harrison would not rule out compulsory redundancies.

"People are everything at Airbus and this is an extraordinary situation," he said.

"In January we were hoping to deliver 880 aircraft and we thought we were in a position that was difficult to meet demand and here we are in July with this tragic news."

He predicted the aviation industry would receive in 2022-23 for single-aisle aircraft with wide-body planes taking until 2025.

Airbus' announcement follows Rolls-Royce saying it was cutting 9,000 jobs from its global workforce while British Airways, EasyJet and Ryanair have all outlined plans to cut staff.

The Airport Operators Association predicted 20,000 jobs are at risk with Birmingham Airport saying 250 staff could be lost.

Bristol Airport restarted international flights this week as chief executive Dave Lees called for government help for the industry.

He said: "The Government hasn't provided rate relief or air passenger duty relief.

"There will be job losses unless there is support and we are seeing that - from airlines and manufacturers - already."

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