Airbus to Add 4,000 More Workers in 2012 to Progress With A350

Airbus (EAD) SAS, the world’s largest commercial jetmaker, plans to hire another 4,000 workers next year, a similar intake to 2011, as it increases production and recruits engineers for the A350 wide-body jet.

The planemaker, based in Toulouse, France, had originally targeted a figure of 3,000 new hires for 2011, though demand for new aircraft remained resilient to economic weakness in Europe and the U.S., Thierry Baril, director of human resources, said in an phone interview.

“We’re seen as a company today that’s dynamic in terms of employment,” Baril said. “About 40 percent of the people we’re hiring are engineers, and not just aeronautical engineers, but also people with experience in automotive engineering or large industrial projects.”

Airbus is benefiting from hiring restrictions in other industries that’s left the labor market with more aeronautical and mechanical engineers with specialist training in areas such as materials stress, the executive said. About out half of the engineers hired this year are in France, with the rest in Europe and the rest of the world, including 1,200 in Germany, he said.

Airbus is preparing to begin final assembly of its first A350 wide-body model in early 2012, with first delivery set for the first half of 2014. The planemaker on Nov. 10 pushed back the entry-into-service date by as much as six months.

For next year, Baril said, more than a third of hires will be young people. European universities turn out about 9,000 engineers equipped for aerospace-design each year.

Airbus in the first 11 months of the year already topped its annual record on new-aircraft orders following the introduction of the A320neo. Carriers placed 1,378 aircraft orders through November after subtracting cancellations, including about 1,200 firm orders for A320neos, which offer more fuel-efficient engines than the existing A320 series.

Airbus has promised airlines that it will have the first A320neo planes with new engines ready for service by late 2015.

To contact the reporter on this story: Andrea Rothman in Toulouse

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Benedikt Kammel at

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