BERLIN (Reuters) – The outlook for the aviation industry has deteriorated again due to rising coronavirus infections and renewed travel restrictions, Airbus chief operating officer Michael Schöllhorn was quoted as saying on Saturday.
With air travel at a fraction of normal levels due to restrictions and travelers’ fears related to the pandemic, airlines have slowed deliveries of new aircraft.
Airbus has said it needs to shed 15,000 positions worldwide.
In an interview with the Handelsblatt business daily, Schöllhorn said the situation in early autumn was worse than the company had expected in the summer, adding that the planned 15,000 job cuts would be the minimum.
As some Airbus factories were already underutilized before the pandemic, labor unions now fear that the management could decide to shut down entire locations.
At least for Germany, Schöllhorn ruled out such a move.
“In terms of substance, I do not see any German locations at risk at the moment,” he said.
Airbus chief executive Guillaume Faury said last month the planemaker would do its best to cut costs without resorting to compulsory redundancies, but it could not guarantee they won’t happen.
In a letter to staff in September, Faury warned that Airbus may have to carry out compulsory layoffs after air travel failed to recover from the pandemic as quickly as anticipated.
Reporting by Michael Nienaber, editing by Giles Elgood.